If your child is exhibiting the symptoms of a speech disorder, you should schedule an appointment for a speech evaluation with a speech-language pathologist (SLP) right away. If diagnosed, they can then begin speech therapy.
Speech therapy has been shown to be highly effective in improving speech skills. In fact, one study found, “An average of 6 h of speech and language therapy in a 6-month period can produce significant improvement in performance, and it has been shown to be more effective than no treatment over the same 6-month period for children with primary speech and/or language impairment.”
Below we review some of the common signs of a speech disorder.
Your Infant Doesn’t Babble
Many infants begin babbling between four and six months. If your baby isn’t babbling by seven months, it could be due to a hearing impairment or a speech disorder. If a hearing test reveals their hearing ability is normal, the next step is to schedule a speech evaluation.
Your Child Stutters
Stuttering often develops around the two-year mark. If your child is repeating whole words, repeating one syllable or having trouble starting a word, and they seem to do this more than their peers, they may have a speech disorder. You should schedule a speech evaluation if your child is still stuttering by preschool-age.
Your Child Doesn’t Play in Groups
Children who prefer to play alone rather than with peers and in groups at Mindowaskin Park may have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This disorder is commonly associated with speech and language delays as well as social communication disorders. Speech therapy following a speech evaluation can help provide them with the social and speech skills they’ll need in life.
Your Child’s Voice Is Inconsistent
If you notice that your child’s voice is sometimes hoarse, shrill, too loud or too soft, and it’s not attributable to vocal overuse, this could be the symptom of a speech disorder called dysphonia.
Your Child’s Speech Is Inconsistent
It’s common for young children to have incoherent speech or to make up words. If their mistakes are consistent, you likely have nothing to worry about. If your child has inconsistent speech, however, this may be a symptom of childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). Signs of CAS include saying words such as “tie,” “pie,” and “die,” when they mean to say “bye.”
For more information on voice disorders or to schedule an appointment with a speech expert, call Speech & Hearing Associates today.