AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

34309878 Speech Therapist Can A Speech Therapist Improve Your Childs Speech DevelopmentWhat is a speech therapist? The trouble with child development is that no two children are alike, and thus no two children will develop at the same pace. For unknown reasons, some children will start to develop at a much slower pace than others. They merely start to reach certain milestones later than other children, but may otherwise develop at a pace that is consistent with the others. This makes it tricky for parents to figure out whether or not their child is progressing normally or may be suffering from a developmental problem.

Assessing Progress in Language and Speech Development

Though far from an exact science, language and speech skills should develop according to a general milestone pattern. Most parents will use this general timeline to assess their child’s progress. Just be sure not to forget that the guideline is a general one and not an exact indicator of whether or not a child is experiencing major delays in development. Children should experience steady progress in their speech and language skills as they age, and any lack of progress can be alarming for a parent. A visit to the doctor is the only effective way to measure your child’s skills, and see if they are experiencing adequate progress.

What Are the Signs for Needing Speech Therapy?

Infants should be starting to react to speech sounds at a very young age, and should be able to start to distinguish basic sounds at just a few months old. By a little over a year old, your child should start to be able to use a few words, and understand the meaning of the words for basic objects and commands. By two or three, your child’s vocabulary should begin to start significantly expanding. At three years old, a child should have the skills to form basic sentences and understand many different words.

There are more thorough lists and timetables for speech development that you can use to see if your child is within normal ranges. If you feel like your child has a slower rate of development than normal, you can and should get the advice of a doctor. Keep in mind that these timetables are just a general guideline and there is no sense in getting worked up over something that is potentially not a big deal. The doctor will be able to tell you whether or not there are any noticeable problems or delays in your child’s development of speech or language.

What Can a Speech Therapist Do To Treat Your Child?

A speech therapist or speech pathologist can first and foremost identify if there is an underlying problem causing the delay. If they can isolate a problem, then they may be able to offer a more effective course of treatment or even a solution to the underlying problem. Many delays in speech development are due to a hearing problem, which could be from something as simple as an ear infection. Identifying a specific problem will go a long way to helping the child improve his or her speech development.

Even if the doctors cannot find a particular problem, they can still work with the child to help them start developing their language skills. They can develop a specialized treatment plan specifically tailored to your child’s needs. A speech therapist can give you activities to do with your children to help encourage their skill development. Doing everything you can to help develop early language skills sometimes requires some extra help. A well-trained speech therapist is the best way to help your child with his or her language development, especially if there are any significant delays.

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About the author: Dr. Michael Barakate is a paediatric and adult otolaryngologist located in Sydney, Australia.  For more information on ENT surgery and ENT disorders, visit


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