Each May we have the opportunity to raise awareness about communication disorders thanks to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. This year’s theme is “Building Connections.” With speech and language disorders among the most common conditions experienced by young children, TLC Pediatric Therapy encourages parents and caregivers to learn the signs of communication disorders, and seek evaluation if they have any concerns.
Here are some signs of a speech or language disorder in a young child (age 3 and under):
- 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)
- Says words that are not easily understood by others (18 months – 2 years)
- Does not put words together to make sentences (1.5–3 years)
- Produces speech that is unclear, even to familiar people (2–3 years)
Early intervention has been proven to be beneficial to a child’s development. Here are a just a few benefits:
- Maximizes a child’s success. Treatment at any age is worthwhile, but earlier treatment can reduce the need for school-based services later.
- Saves time and money. It can take less time to treat a communication delay or disorder when families act on the early warning signs. Fewer treatment sessions can also mean fewer out-of-pocket expenses. TLC can also link you to other community supports.
- Prepares a child for kindergarten. What happens between birth and age 3 lays the foundation for kindergarten readiness. Strong speech, language, cognitive, and social skills are necessary for reading, writing, and academic success—as well as all the other demands of school.
- Sets a child on a course to school, social, and life success. All families want what’s best for their children. Acting early can have positive, long-lasting effects on your child’s communication, social relationships, learning, and daily life activities well into adulthood.
If you would like more information about receiving therapy services at TLC or have questions, visit our Getting Started page to fill out the Therapy Services Form.