When To Get Help
Please review these recommendations from the American speech language hearing association.
It is recommended that your toddler have a speech and language evaluation if he or she does any of the following:
- Does not appear to be progressing in their communication skills from month to month.
- Does not yet initiate communication with others by saying words on their own.
- Is not talking or saying very little.
- Talking mostly in vowels (e.g., "ah" for a ball).
- Using one catch-all sound or syllable to represent many words.
- Not yet combining words into phrases or sentences.
- Not yet waving "by/hi" or playing "peek-a-boo."
- Not yet responding to simple requests and commands like "come here" or "get your shoes."
- Not yet pointing to request.
- Not yet pointing to identify a named object in picture books (e.g., "Where is the ball?").
- Not yet responding when their name is called.
It is recommended that your school-age child have a speech and language evaluation if he or she exhibits one or more of the following behaviors::
- Difficulty pronouncing words clearly.
- Difficulty expressing ideas clearly, as if words are on the tip of the tongue but won't come out. What the child says may be vague and difficult to understand.
- Using unspecific vocabulary, such as "thing" or "stuff," to replace words that cannot be remembered. Filler words like "um" may take time while the child recognizes the word.
- The word order in sentences is "jumbled," indicating problems with sentence grammar (e.g., "He inside go").
- The child often uses gestures to "fill in" words and ideas in conversations.
- Difficulty staying on topic during a conversation.
- Difficulty with re-telling a story/movie plot and sharing recent events. The child may "jump around in time" as they try to retell an event.
- Difficulty learning new vocabulary that a child hears.
- Difficulty understanding questions and following directions that are heard/read.