This post originally published on the OEF blog on October 4, 2018. Due to its usefulness we are reposting it here for you.
Continuing in our series of blog posts answering some of the frequently asked questions that we get here at The Orange Effect Foundation, we have reached out to our experts to find out if you are ever too old to start speech therapy.
We started the series last month by asking how these amazing professionals work with toddlers. We know that not all kids hit their milestones at the same time but our experts were pretty clear that the earlier you receive speech therapy, the faster you may see results!
We then followed up with a post about the use of technology in speech therapy. We heard resoundingly that this technique works well in speech therapy.
Following those two posts, and knowing that early intervention is critical, it prompted today’s question:
Is it ever too late to get speech therapy for a child?
It is never too late to get speech therapy for a child! Speech language pathologists are trained to work with clients of all ages. I would recommend that you seek out therapy as soon as concerns arise regarding your child’s speech and/or language development.
–Lauren Alpert, M.S. CCC-SLP TSSLD, Brooklyn NY
No, I don’t believe it is ever too late to get help.
–Lauren Masuga, M.A., CCC-SLP, Coordinator of Toddler and Fluency Services, Senior Speech-Language Pathologist, Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center
There was a time when we would tell parents that there is a magic window prior to six years of age. Today, though, our knowledge base is so much broader and wider that I have worked with non- verbal children who come to me after age six and develop verbal abilities, or a child with a simple /r, s, l/ problem and can work the process. It is never too late to grow, develop and change, but the older a child, the more we have to dismantle old ways to develop new ways which is the greater challenge. If you as a parent are up for the challenge, then it will be worth the work!
–Mary Padula, MA, CCC/SLP TLP-C/BC-C, Neurodevelopment Program Consultant. Author of Navigating the Therapy World.
No, absolutely not. While early intervention is ideal, your child will most likely progress with appropriate intervention at any time intervention is provided. The brain is a miraculous thing and current research leads us to believe that full neural maturity may not happen until around age 25.
–Sarah Baker, MS CCC-SLP, owner and clinical director of Baker Speech Clinic in Oklahoma City.
So again, our experts come through in complete agreement! If you are concerned about any part of your child’s speech be sure to connect with your school or with an independent SLP for a speech assessment!