Speech therapy is a training program designed to help individuals speak more clearly. It may be used for toddlers to learn how to speak or for elementary-age children to learn how to form their sounds more accurately. This form of therapy is provided by a trained speech-language pathologist who will be able to assess your child, come up with a therapy plan and provide appropriate language intervention activities to help your child blossom in this area.
- Your 2-year-old cannot say any words or can say fewer than 50 words.
- Your 3-year-old cannot say many consonant sounds.
- You or other close family members cannot understand at least 75 percent of what your 3-year-old says.
- Your 5-year-old child is not clear enough in his speech for most people to understand the majority of what he says.
- Your child is being teased because of the way that he speaks.
- Your child stutters.
- Your child is struggling to read or write.
- Your child has been diagnosed with certain problems that could affect speech, such as a brain disorder, autism, or other developmental delays.
If you notice any of these concerning signs, get your child scheduled for a speech evaluation as soon as possible. You may want to meet with your pediatrician first if your insurance plan requires that you be referred to a specialist in order to be covered. Your child may also need a hearing evaluation before going to a therapy consultation.