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Does My Child Need Speech Therapy?

Are you worried about your child’s speech?  Do you wonder whether your child needs Speech Therapy?
Here is some information to help you decide.

1)      Speech development is an ongoing process. That means that children do not develop or master all speech sounds when they begin talking.

Please see the following link to a chart that outlines the ages at which the different speech sounds are acquired and mastered:   It is important to consider these norms for speech development, to determine whether a child is having difficulty producing age-appropriate speech sounds, or simply has not acquired various later-developing sounds.

2)      Young children frequently demonstrate consistent error patterns (also known as “phonological processes”) within their speech. These may include: omitting the final consonant sound (“ca” for cat), cluster reduction (“poon” for spoon), or fronting (“tar” for car). It’s important to remember that many of these error patterns are normal and will disappear on their own. However, if your child continues to demonstrate these error patterns frequently, past a certain age, he likely requires an assessment to determine whether a phonological delay is present.

3)      Given that speech sound development in an ongoing process and that young children exhibit many error patterns within their speech, it make sense that young children’s speech clarity improves as they grow.  In general, a 24-month-old child should be 50% understandable. While a 36-month-old should be 75% clear, and a child who is 48-60 months should be 100% intelligible.

The above information should help guide parents in their decision on whether to seek help. However, when you are concerned about your child’s speech (or language), it is recommended that you consult a speech-language pathologist, as she/he will be able to provide the appropriate guidance and recommendations for your child.

Written by:

IlanaKlain, M.Sc., CCC- SLP, Reg. CASLPO
Speech-Language Pathologist at Simone Friedman Speech-Language Services

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