Being a parent is hard. Being a parent can also be competitive. Your friend’s daughter can sing the national anthem and recite Homer at 10 months old, meanwhile, your precious, sweet natured 2 year old is looking at you and pointing to his soaking wet shirt while innocently stating, “mommy, juice!” You immediately look at the 10 month old and back at your son, should he be speaking more? Are two word phrases enough? Does he know Homer? Where did that juice come from?!?! And finally, should we look into speech therapy???
I have been practicing speech therapy for over 5 years and many of my friends and private clients have all had these questions/comparisons run through their minds at some point. I want you to know that speech therapy does not imply that something is wrong with your child. I believe that all children, actually, all people, can benefit from speech correction or enhancement. Below is a list of common reasons why parents seek speech services. If you feel that any of the characteristics below describe your child, or if you’re not sure, call a speech therapist. We are always willing to talk on the phone and many therapists will screen your child for free or at a discounted rate.
Reasons for speech therapy may include:
1. Voice Disorders
-Children who speak too loudly
-Children who speak too softly
-Older children who have maintained a prepubescent voice
2. Articulation Disorders
-Children who can’t pronounce a specific sound
-Children who are hard to understand
-Children who stutter
3. Language Disorders
-Children who have trouble understanding written or verbal language (academically or socially)
-Children who have trouble finding the right words to express themselves
4. Swallowing Disorders
-Children who have difficulty swallowing foods of different textures
-Children who have food aversions
5. Attention Deficit
-Children who require techniques for remaining focused
-Children who struggle with maladaptive daydreaming
There are many more reasons to seek out speech therapy for your child, however, the simplest advice I can give is, if you’re asking yourself the question, does my child need speech therapy, then it’s probably a good idea to call a speech therapist and have a chat. We’re not only here for your children, we’re here for you too!
Briana Evans, CCC-SLP is a licensed, certified speech language pathologist and owner of Speech Quest Speech and Language Therapy. She specializes in articulation, reading skills and early language development. She graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. In addition, she is working toward certification in PROMPT therapy, a kinesthetic articulation technique. She currently provides in-home or at-school services for children and teens. She believes in a lifestyle approach to speech therapy, which includes embedding support throughout the client’s daily life.