Children learn to babble and talk all at different times. Before you know it, they can read their favorite book or tell you what they want for their birthday. But, when they can’t tell you what they want to eat for breakfast or the daycare teacher can’t understand what they say, parents need somewhere to turn.
What do speech-language pathologists do?
Speech-language pathologists focus on oral motor, speech, language and communication skills to enhance development, restore function and to prevent disability from pediatric conditions, illness or injury.
What does the speech-language pathologist do at my NHC appointment for my child?
- Talk to you about your concerns about your child’s communication.
- Conduct a brief screen to evaluate your child’s need for speech/language therapy.
- Talk to you about things you can do at home to help facilitate communication development.
- Help you get connected to speech-language therapy services in a clinic, school, or home health, depending on you and your child’s needs.
- Collaborate with you and your doctor on other referrals or resources you may need.
How do I know if my child needs to see the speech-language pathologist?
Some concerns may include:
- Little to no babbling. Well-formed babbling should be in place by 10 months of age (vowel sounds such as “ah, oo, ee” are used first, and then they will start pairing consonants with vowels to make syllables like “ba-da-ba-gee”.
- Slow to say first words (after 12 months of age).
- Is not developing new vocabulary words.
- Difficulty understanding what your child says, or if you are one of the few people that can understand your child.
- Not speaking in 2-3 word combinations by 24 months of age (like “more cookie”).
- Child is frustrated by difficulty communicating.
- Child overuses gestures instead of words to communicate.
- Child does not look at your face when communicating.
- Child does not respond to their name.
- Lack of variety of play skills or engaging others in play.
How do I access speech and language services for my child?
Our neighborhood clinics are staffed by an expert team of licensed and certified speech-language pathologists. If you think your child might need to be seen for difficulties with communication, talk to your pediatrician about a referral.