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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Does Your Child Need Speech Therapy?

By Angel Lyn Nance

Some early childhood speech errors — like saying “dis” instead of “this” — are age-appropriate and normal, but other issues may need to be addressed with speech therapy. Speech Language Pathologist Tonya Johnson gives advice about when to set up an evaluation.

Here are some questions to consider if you have a 3 year old:

  • Can strangers understand at least 75 percent of what your child says?
  • As your child turns 3, does she use three- and four-word sentences? As the child nears age 4, are her sentences increasing in detail and length?
  • Does your child get stuck on words, with no sound coming out? Johnson says, “Your child may exhibit some stuttering-like behavior during this time of rapid speech and language development. There is a normal level of this behavior, but if you are concerned, it is best to have a speech language pathologist take a look, especially if he is making odd facial expressions or body movements while trying to speak.”
  • Can your child answer questions, and does he rely mainly on words versus actions to communicate?
  • Does she get frustrated or avoid speaking due to not being understood? 
If you suspect that your child needs speech therapy, contact your local school district to set up an evaluation.

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