May is Better Hearing & Speech Month

Know the Signs of Early Speech & Language Disorders

KingsbS&L Therapy2ury Center’s speech-language pathologists recommend that parents, especially those of young children, take time during the month of May to familiarize themselves with the signs of speech/language disorders and assess their children’s communication development.

It is not uncommon for parents to put off taking any action about a speech delay until a child is age three or older, according to The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Some parents may have had concerns for a year or longer before they take action. Parents with a concern are encouraged to seek an assessment from a speech-language pathologist right away for the best possible outcome.

Between birth to four years of age is an important stage in early detection of communication disorder. The early stages of speech and language disorders are easier to spot when you know the signs. Remember: The most common language disorders that young children experience are highly treatable, when identified early!

Children: Signs of a Language Disorder

  • Does not smile or interact with others (birth and older)
  • Does not babble (4-7 months)
  • Makes only a few sounds or gestures, like pointing (7-12 months)
  • Does not understand what others say (7 months-2 years)
  • Says only a few words (12-18 months)
  • Words are not easily understood (18 months-2 years)
  • Does not put words together to make sentences (1.5-3 years)
  • Has trouble playing and talking with other children (2-3 years)
  • Has trouble with early reading and writing skills (2.5-3 years)

What Parents Can Do

  • Listen and respond to your child
  • Establish daily routines in order to use repetitive language
  • Talk, read, play and sing with your child
  • Talk with your child in the language you are most comfortable using
  • If possible, teach one or more languages to your child; it’s good to teach your child to speak a second language
  • Talk about what you are doing and what your child is doing
  • Use many different words when speaking with your child
  • Use longer sentences as your child gets older
  • Have your child play with other children
  • Seek an assessment from a speech-language pathologist right away if you suspect your child has a language disorder.

Kingsbury Center Speech-Language pathologists are trained, certified and experienced at performing assessments and developing treatment plans, particularly for children with learning differences and ADHD. To request information, please contact Ms. Marissa M. Analouei, SLP, Director of Speech and Language Services, The Kingsbury Center, via email or phone (202.722.5555, ext. 2020). Parents may also visit the Kingsbury website at http://www.kingsbury.org/services/request-therapist.cfm to request a speech-language assessment.

For more information about communication milestones, visit http://identifythesigns.org.

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