It can be a difficult to know just when to ask for help with your child’s communication skills. Friends may be quick to reassure you that “each child develops at their own pace” or reminds you of little John who “didn’t talk until he was three” and the array of information on different websites can be confusing.
Speech and Language Therapist at Thame Therapy Clinic, Thildie Peacock hears this often and in this article she explains more about communication development skills in young children and potential problem signs to look out for.
“When I hear a parent say the words, “my child is no speaking enough’, I know that they have probably been worrying about this for a long time.
It is true that each child develops individually, and some learn to talk quicker than others. However, there are some “typical” ages when we would expect most children to have mastered specific speech and language skills.
Children need to have at least 50-100 words by age two and be putting a variety of two words together by age 2 ½, such as “big car” or “daddy’s shoe”.
Warning signs for young children:
- not understanding what you say to them, unless it is something you say often, such as “put your shoes on” or “do you want some milk?”
- using fewer words than other children of the same age and shorter sentences.
- becoming frustrated by their inability to communicate.
- finding it difficult to pay attention or listen, especially when they are busy playing.
- when their speech sounds like a much younger child, or they are so unclear only very familiar adults understand them. By pre-school age, children should be understandable even to a stranger.
A Speech and Language Therapist will be able to tell you if your child is still developing within the expected range for their age, or will need extra help. Therapy is play-based and uses fun activities to boost a child’s confidence. During therapy sessions parents will be shown activities and strategies to practise at home to ensure that the child can make the best progress possible. I am happy to have a chat with any concerned parent to discuss if speech and language therapy may be helpful to your child.