It’s back-to-school season, and now is the time that we typically get calls from parents of preschoolers and early elementary-aged children in Canyon Lake inquiring about pediatric speech therapy. When children with speech delays start school, it often becomes more apparent to their parents how behind their peers they actually are, or a teacher may point out that there may be an issue with their speech development that should be addressed. Parents are with their children most of their waking hours and can easily become accustomed to the way they speak, which is why many don’t pursue speech therapy earlier.
At Lil’ Chit-Chat, we see children of all ages for speech therapy in Canyon Lake. And while it is never too late to help a child with their speech and language development, as experienced pediatric speech therapists in Canyon Lake, we highly recommend early intervention. We can begin speech therapy for children as young as 18 months old. The first few years of a child’s life are critical for language development, so if your child needs help in this area, it is best to do so as soon as possible.
Studies have shown that early intervention helps prevent the need for special education in school-aged children. If your child begins school with speech and language delays, it will inevitably lead to difficulties in other areas (vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, social interactions). Not to mention, children needing speech therapy are often pulled out of class for therapy, which means they are missing out on vital classroom learning. By seeing a speech therapist before they begin their schooling, you are setting them up for success in school!
Some pediatricians advise parents to wait to inquire about speech therapy, but as experienced speech therapists, we have seen the benefits of early intervention and can’t recommend strongly enough the importance of seeing a Canyon Lake speech therapist in the early years, when your child’s speech is still developing.
How do you know if your young child needs speech therapy? Here are some signs to look for in their toddler years (1.5-3 years of age) that indicate a need for speech therapy:
1. Not Using Many Words
While we realize that every child is different, there are some speech and language milestones that a typical child will meet. For example, a typical 2-year-old will have a word for almost everything and will speak in 2-3 word sentences. (Click here to see some of the other milestones we look for as speech therapists) If your child has not met the milestones that correspond with their age, give us a call to schedule a speech evaluation.
2. Parents Serving As Their Child’s “Translator”
Part of the reason parents delay speech therapy for young children is because they are able to understand their toddlers. Parents learn what certain gestures mean, or how to interpret their speech to determine what they are saying. While no toddler is understood 100% of the time, if you find yourself regularly “translating” your child’s speech for those outside your home, it may indicate that there is an issue that should be addressed.
3. Inability to Follow Directions
Children as young as one should be able to follow simple, two-step instructions, like “Get your shoes, and bring them to me.” They should also understand basic directional words like “up-down” and “in-on”. If you child is unable to follow simple directions, or if you feel like he or she just doesn’t understand what you are saying, you should consult with a Canyon Lake speech therapist. Again, look at the “Hearing and Understanding” milestones to see if your child is where he or she should be for his or her age.
4. Frequently Expressing Frustration
Yes, every toddler expresses frustration from time to time, but for toddlers with speech challenges, they may express their frustration more frequently as a result of their inability to articulate their needs and have them met. Don’t discount constant frustration (crying, throwing fits) as just typical toddler behavior. If you have concerns in this area, contact a Canyon Lake speech therapist.
Contact Lil’ Chit-Chat for a Free Speech Consultation in Canyon Lake
If your child exhibits one or more of the above characteristics, they may benefit from speech therapy. Lil’ Chit-Chat offers free consultations in your Canyon Lake home, as well as in the surrounding cities of Menifee, Temecula, Wildomar and Murrieta. Our speech therapy for 1.5-3 year olds is play-based and takes place in your home. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to ask any questions you may have about speech therapy.