I don’t prefer to start a post with a disclaimer, but in this case one is needed – I am not a certified Speech-Language Therapist. I don’t play one on TV either (haha). I’m just a Mom who has been fortunate to have a tremendous experience with her child’s speech therapy, and is often asked by other parents if I think their child should get assessed? I give them the same disclaimer!
The perfect example of a mom who knew exactly what their child wanted, even though the sounds coming out of their mouth still sounded like gibberish to everyone else, oftentimes including their other parent, that was Me. I took pride in knowing their wants and needs without them having to effectively communicate. But now realize how much that can hinder their speech growth. Those early years are so critical for development in every way!
Now when another parent approaches me, I have three sure fire reasons that I would tell them to go get a speech assessment:
- You’re already thinking about it.
I know this sounds sort of silly. The best example I can think of is something like losing weight. You don’t think about losing weight, or research ways to lose weight, if you don’t need to lose weight. The same is true with speech. You don’t think about speech therapy, or research speech therapy if you don’t think your child needs some sort of speech therapy. So, if you are thinking about it, I say go get a speech assessment. Plus, getting a speech assessment cannot hurt.
- Other people are suggesting it.
I’ll admit that oftentimes people are too generous with their advice. But if your child is more than 2 years old and people are telling you that they cannot understand your child, it’s probably time to get an assessment. Remember, it can’t hurt.
- Your child is not talking at all.
I have heard every excuse in the book on this one. “I know what they need so they don’t have to talk”, Or “Boys just take their time talking”, Or “they are the (oldest/middle/youngest) child, they don’t need to talk because their siblings do it for them”. My personal favorite is that they are just shy, or introspective. Not at age 3 folks. They should be chattering up a storm. Annoying you almost with how often they ask “Why?”.
Experts Can Help You With The Things You Do Not Know
Being a parent is tough. Some days, really tough. We often put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do the right thing all the time – an impossible task. We do the best we can with the information we have at that time. One of the great things in our society is that we do have experts who can help with all the things we cannot know at one time. If you have any inkling that your child might need some help with their speech, a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) will be your new best friend. When your child can communicate their wants and needs to you and those around them you will not only see an improvement in your life, but in theirs as well. They have a lot of amazing things to tell you about!