Early detection of any communication impairment in a child is critical. The ability to communicate is essential to learning during their developmental years.
If you suspect your child may have a delay in communication development, an evaluation will provide valuable information. It is never too early to have your child evaluated. For children as young as 12-15 months, an evaluation can ease concerns and provide a base-line for follow-up visits to ensure continued progress.
These are just a few issues that parents may recognize their children are experiencing.
Apraxia of Speech
Apraxia of Speech is an example of a speech disorder. A child with a speech disorder may have difficulty understanding what another person is saying; or the child is not understood by others because they have difficulty expressing their thoughts. A delay in speech development may result in problems with reading and spelling. So, it is important to diagnose and treat any suspected speech disorders early in the child’s development.
A Speech-Language Pathologist should be engaged to diagnose and treat developmental apraxia of speech. The speech pathologist can evaluate and rule out possible contributing factors, such as muscle weakness or language-comprehension problems. Early diagnosis and treatment of developmental apraxia of speech are essential to the child’s success.
Stuttering or Stammering
A parent can become concerned when their young child has trouble getting their words out. This can be recognized as stuttering or stammering. Stuttered speech can include the repetition of words or parts of words, or, extending speech sounds. Sometimes a child will feel they need to use their body to help get the sound out (such as blinking, stamping foot, opening the mouth widely, etc.)
In these cases, a speech evaluation is recommended. The speech pathologist will determine if the child’s dysfluency is language-based and normal or is symptomatic of ‘true’ stuttering whereby therapy would be beneficial. In either case, recommendations to increase fluent speech will be given to you.
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are severe disorders of development that can adversely affect social interaction, communication, play, and learning.
The resulting communication impairments can exacerbate social problems that the child with ASD may experience. Increased social problems contribute to increased behavioral issues beyond the normal level with this disorder. These adverse effects of ASD can be minimized through proper speech therapy administered by a speech-language pathologist (SLP). The SLP plays a key role in improving the life of a child with ASD
Engage a Speech Therapist for Your Child
Beth Fine is founder of a boutique speech therapy practice in Manhattan that has great success with identifying and addressing the needs of children. Contact Beth at 212-888-3696 to discuss your child’s situation and the options available for your child and your family.