How do I know whether my child needs a speech therapist? (Age 2)

How do I know whether my child needs a speech therapist? (Age 2)

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At this age it's not easy to tell. Two-year-olds often have trouble with pronunciation and difficulties putting sentences together. And that's normal. You can expect to play a guessing game trying to figure out what your 2-year-old is saying, and at times you may have absolutely no clue what she's getting at.

For instance, many 2-year-olds substitute an f or d sound for th ("I'm taking a baf" for "I'm taking a bath") or a w sound for an l or r ("The wion wawed" for "The lion roared"). Consonant blends, where two consonants are right next to each other, are typically tricky ("Soppit!" for "Stop it"). Plus, 2-year-olds often mix up multi-syllabic words or simply reduce them to shorter words ("Gimme dat amal" for "Give me that animal"). All of these mispronunciations are common up until age 6.

Just be sure your child's speech is improving over time — by age 3 most of what your child says should be pretty understandable. However, if your child is talking very little, you should act more quickly. Rule out a hearing problem first. See a speech-language pathologist if your child is doing any of the following:

  • Not reacting normally or consistently to sounds (she may be overly sensitive to sounds such as vacuums or hair dryers yet seems indifferent when people call her name)
  • Mispronouncing vowels, saying "coo" instead of "cow"
  • Talking using mostly vowels, omitting whole consonants, saying "a" for "cat"
  • Using one catch-all sound or syllable to name most things (duh or duh-duh is a common one)
  • Using a word once and then not using it again
  • Not pointing to objects in books (if you say, "Show me the kitty cat," she flips the page or repeats the phrase but doesn't point to the animal)
  • Not seeming frustrated when you don't know what she wants (she may simply try to get the object herself or just give up very easily)
  • Answering a question by repeating part of your question. If you say, "Do you want milk?" she responds by saying, " want milk?" instead of nodding her head or saying yes (this is called echolalia, and may be an early sign of autism)
  • Not saying "bye-bye" or reacting to games such as peekaboo
  • Still saying single words only, and not phrases or sentences
  • Not changing or developing her language much from month to month

Watch the video: Should my child see a speech pathologist? (December 2022).

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