Speech therapy for children and toddlers is an option more parents than you might think have to consider. Not all of the children will have learning problems or disabilities. Some just need that little bit of extra help to figure out how to communicate. If your toddler is struggling to communicate, you may wonder whether you need speech therapy. Here are four signs that your child might benefit from speech therapy.
It's Not a Hearing Problem
The first thing to rule out is a hearing problem. Hearing problems lead to children mishearing words and making them up in their heads. They then get frustrated because you don't understand them and may decide not to continue talking. Hearing problems can also mimic needs for speech therapists for toddlers.
Not Reacting to Games and Simple Instructions
Your child may be able to mimic sounds but doesn't actually react to the simple instructions or games. Some of the common problems include not saying "bye-bye" as a person is leaving or not playing along with games like peek-a-boo.
When reading books, you can test this by asking your child to point out a colour or a certain object or item. Some children will repeat the phrase and then turn the page.
Not Developing Correct Pronunciation
Pronouncing words incorrectly at first isn't a sign of a speech problem. The problem arises when children don't develop the correct pronunciation. Certain letters are just hard to pronounce or are easily misheard. Most toddlers will use an "f" sound instead of a "th" sound at first, and this can continue until a child is six, according to Baby Center. Children will also shorten words and phrases at first.
If you or others can't understand the sentences your child is saying, there are chances speech therapy is needed. This could just be for a short period to help him or her become more confident in using words.
Not Understanding the Different Meanings
Some children will use one word for multiple actions. For example "on" or "in" are sometimes used interchangeably or in place of the word "under." Your child may understand the instructions but can't repeat them correctly. This is an important sign to look out for, so your child can use the right phrases and avoid frustration.
Speech therapy for children is widely available. Use it to your advantage to help their development. Catching speech development problems early will help to rectify them easier. Look out for speech therapists for toddlers in your area to find out how you and your child will benefit.
Contact a practice like communiKIDS to learn more about speech therapy.