Put simply, around 12 months of age, a child should be “talking” and by that I mean saying a few words. If your child isn’t saying things such as “mama” or “dada” or babbling yet at this point it would be a good thing to get them tested.
Generally speaking – early talkers are late walkers and early walkers are late talkers…so if your child was an early walker then you might want to give them a little more time to start talking in “words” yet the babbling should still be present.
Take this link to view some developmental milestones to determine where your child is functioning in all areas.
However, from experience, TRUST YOUR GUT. You know your child much better than anyone…even pediatricians. Too many times I have had parents come to me months even a year later than they wanted to to get their child tested because their doctor put them off. If you think there is a problem, there is no harm in testing. Rule it out. Get an informed opinion. It can only benefit you.
While its unfair to compare your child to anyone else because each child is different, many times parents get caught up in a child not doing what their older sibling did at a certain age – Try to look at it from a peer to peer perspective. Ask yourself some simple questions…
- Does my child communicate with those around him/her? or, does my child grunt and point/gesture to get his/her point across?
- Do unfamiliar people understand my child?
- Does my child tantrum a lot because of not feeling understood?
- Does my child interact and play with other kids or does he/she isolate themselves?
- Do I give in to my child because I just don’t understand and its too hard to figure it out?
Recognize that tantrums are not always a sign of a bad kid. Tantrums are a sign of frustration and is the way your child is communicating if they do not have the words to do it. With therapy, your child can learn to sign to reduce frustration, thus, allowing for more interaction and building more language and imitation to say words and ultimately communicate verbally. There is hope and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Let an SLP help you.
Early intervention is the key to success in the school system. No one wants a child to struggle but the more you wait and the longer you put it off the further behind they will get….and the harder it will be to catch up. Even an articulation problem can manifest itself in difficulty with reading and spelling.
Ways to find a therapist….
- go to ASHA.org – you can “find a professional” on their site.
- TherapyFindR.com is a way to locate a therapist in your area.
- Do a general google search with a city or zip code.
- Ask a friend, post on Facebook – look for therapy companies on social media. Someone is bound to have a recommendation.
Robyn Drothler and Brook Todd are both speech therapists with separate companies. Connect with them and learn more.