This is a question that I hear all the time from parents and I am always happy to respond to it. While it is true to an extent that each kid develops differently, it should not vary so widely that your child struggles as a result. As parents, it can be difficult
to decide if you should seek help for your child but it is always best to seek the advice of a licensed professional as soon as possible. The best time to initiate therapy is before the age of five, as this is a critical period for language learning. Children who receive early intervention in speech and/or language are more likely to catch up to their peers by the age of five. If your child is over the age of 5, it is still a great idea to seek help if needed because speech therapy is still an effective intervention for later developing skills as well. It is never too late to help your child to become a better communicator.
Here are just a few signs that may indicate that your child may need speech therapy:
-Your baby does not smile or interact with others.
-Your child uses little to no words to communicate.
-Your child is not using phrases to communicate.
-Your child has a hard time producing sounds.
-It is difficult for people to understand him/her.
-Your child does not play appropriately with toys and/or people.
-Your child is experiencing difficulties making friends and/or socializing with peers.
-Your child has difficulty following directions.
-Your child repeats words or pauses a lot when he/she talks.
-Your child has difficulty with phonological awareness skills and/or learning to read.
Of course there are many other indicators that may signal that your child is having speech or language difficulties but you can use this list as a starting point. If your child exhibits any of the signs listed above or you have any other concerns about your child's speech-language development trust your parental intuition and seek help immediately from a Licensed Speech Language Pathologist.