Does your child struggle to say words or pronounce them correctly? If you believe your child is at the age where he or she should be saying certain words clearly, but your child is not able to do so, you may want to have an evaluation performed. A speech-language pathologist could meet with you and your child to ask different questions, gather more information, provide a diagnosis, and then go over the options that can help your child's speech improve over the months and years.
What Happens During the Meeting with a Speech-Language Pathologist?
During your first meeting with the speech-language pathologist, expect to answer a lot of questions about your child's ability to communicate clearly with you and others. The speech-language pathologist may ask some of the following questions:
- Is your child nonverbal?
- How many words can your child say?
- Do other people understand what your child says to them?
- Have you noticed any behavioral problems, such as chronic tantrums?
- Does your child appear to have a tongue-tie?
- Is there a history of speech delays or other developmental issues in the family?
- Has your child had his or her hearing tested?
Getting the answers to these essential questions helps the speech-language pathologist gather more information about your child and the underlying issues that could cause a speech delay. Along with asking you several important questions, the speech-language pathologist will meet with your child to see how he or she sounds when speaking and pronouncing different words.
What Is Often Recommended to Children with Speech Delays?
When a child does have a speech delay, it may be due to a neurological condition, such as autism or apraxia of speech. A speech-language pathologist can better diagnose some of these issues after different tests are performed, including a hearing test to determine if your child is unable to hear correctly, which can cause pronunciation issues. While some children have neurological disorders that cause delays, others simply fall behind but will eventually catch up with their peers by regularly receiving speech therapy. During speech therapy sessions, a speech-language pathologist goes over different words and phrases while making sessions fun and exciting for the child.
If you have some concerns because your child is not saying many words or is struggling to pronounce words correctly, you should make an appointment with a speech-language pathologist who can perform an assessment and provide you with more information. Your child may benefit from speech therapy sessions. Contact resources like Eastern Carolina Ear Nose & Throat-Head to learn more about speech pathology.