It can be difficult to determine whether or not evaluation is appropriate for your child and just what is “normal” when it comes to development of communication.
Though some children do grow out of a speech or language impairment, the wait and see approach is not recommended. According to the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA), almost 8% of children in the U.S. have a communication disorder. That’s 1 in 12!
The data indicates that out of the 8% of children with communication disorders, 5% have speech problems, 3.3% have language problems, 1.4% have voice problems, and 0.9% have swallow difficulties. Studies report more than 1/3 of these children are aged 3-10.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) has an online checklist available for parents for those parents who are concerned about their child’s development and want to learn more about what’s considered typical.
As children move through their development, parents are anxiously awaiting each milestone. The first word, combining words, using verbs, pronouns, etc. When children seem to fall behind peers parents can start to wonder whether or not they should seek outside help. Speech-language pathologists are trained to identify speech and language deficits and disorders. Early identification and intervention is important as the earlier they are addressed, the less negative impact they will have on the child’s school, emotional, and social lives.