57 answers

When to Have Your Child Evaluated for Speech Problems

Hi Moms, I need some advice on my 20 months old speech development. She has a wide vocabulary and according to her pediatrician is far ahead for her age, but she keeps omitting the last sound of her words. For example nos for nose and dow for down pai for paint etc. The pediatrician keeps telling me she is fine but I read an article that describe what she is doing as a early sign of speech problems. My question is how long should I wait to have her evaluated by a professional as I know most pediatricians is not fully qualified to identify speech problem unless they are very severe which hers are not.

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I wouldn't sweat it. If she's that advance then she'll get the ending on her own. Things are so much more complicated and harder for children to grasp than adults. When my 4 yr old was somewhere between 2 and 3 yrs old he kept saying "mooseman" for "museum". He eventually got it right.

My 18 month old is a constant "talker" (basically babbles a bunch of nonsense all day long). The doctor told me that I should have him tested because he's not saying the required 7 to 10 words (he says about 3 on a consistant basis). I was worried at first but when I watched and understood his personality I realized he'll say actual words when he feels like it. So, technically he can say 6 words if he wants to. I'm not going to worry about getting him tested because I feel that he'll do it when he wants to and i doubt he'll have any learning disabilities or any other negative impacts. Plus, he understands EVERYTHING you say to him.

Hi- I am a Speech Therapist in Early Intervention. I would reccomend having her evaluated, I live in IL, and all evaulations are free, and then depending on if she qualifies or not, therapy fees are minimal. I firmly believe that the earlier you start the stronger she will be. Even if you just want to have her looked at by a Speech Therapist, she could give you suggestions for things to work on with her. I would be happy to give you ideas also. I have worked with kids birth-3 for 10 years. Let me know how I can help.

My son had trouble pronouncing words with double consinants at the beginning of them, he replaced these with an f sound. I was afraid to put him into preschool because of this thinking he wasn't ready, but it just disappeared. The teacher never even had a problem with this. Hope this helps.

M. Powell

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Of course you should do what you feel is best, but I'm a speech therapist and I'm pretty sure your DD will not qualify for services... dropping the ends of words is very typical for 20 months...my 23 month old son is a very late talker (only about 10 words but lots of other prespeech sounds and good receptive language so we continue to wait a little as children often have a burst at around age 2). At 20 months if she is saying all those words she is doing great...developmentally some sounds are not mastered until much later and end sounds are much more difficult to articulate. If you look at www.asha.org (a great resource) look for a developmental chart of sound acquistion/age of acquistion which may put your mind at ease. Every child is so different, our DD was speaking in sentences at a 20 months but her gross motor skills weren't nearly as developed while our son is the opposite...I read the article in the recent Parents magazine and it is very well done if that's the one you're referring to and of course they do state to consult a SLP if you're concerned which you should do if you continue to worry but know what she is doing is normal and having a mom who is on top of things is the most important thing.


2 moms found this helpful

Many people recommend early intervention meaning before the child turns three years old. I would have my pediatrician make a referral just to be sure. It sounds as if your daughter is doing great for a one year old.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi you can get in touch with Early Childhood hey can come out and check your child for any delays and if she has any they can come to your house usually free of charge untill she is 3 years and if there stillis problems they usually qualify her to enter an early childhood through the school districts, both of my sons have qualified for this program and I can not say enough about it it has done wonders!
Good Luck

I agree on calling the local elementary school district. Even though your child isn't in kindergarten (!), most school districts provide free early testing for hearing, vision, speech and a few other issues. I assume the premise is that if they identify these problems early, they can either correct them before the child enters school, or at least know about the issue.

Hi, L.. I have been in your situation, twice! My oldest daughter, by age two, was speaking in full sentences and had a very large vocabulary. She was not, however, speaking clearly. I could understand her and she did well while in pre-school, but when it came time for Kindergarden screening, I was told that she would be needing speech therapy. She had a number of different letter combinations that she could not pronounce clearly. My second daughter, who is 4, has some combinations that she cannot pronounce clearly. I rushed her off to screening last year, when she was just 3. The speech pathologist assured me that everything that she was struggling with was normal for her age. My point is, if you go too soon to any kind of screening, there will be things that your daughter will not be able to pronounce, and it will be "normal" for her age. It is a fine line, though, between normal, and finding early help and when you are not in the speech business, you just don't know what to look for. I say, if it gives you peace of mind, have her tested, but I'd wait until she is at least attending pre-school and has had contact with some teachers and other children. As a side note, be on the lookout for any problems with ear, nose and throat issues. My oldest daughter had enlarged tonsils and adenoids along with multiple ear infections. Her ears had fluid in them and it caused her to hear like she was underwater. I'm willing to bet that this contributed greatly to her speech problems. While getting her into an early intervention program may have helped, the tonsil and adenoids surgery may have been our biggest help. She was in speech until 3rd grade. Right now she is a very talkative and social 6th grader!

I don't know if this would help, but when my littlest one couldn't say her y's (lellow instead of yellow), I was told to have her hold my adam's apple lightly and feel me say the word. She would then have to repeat it. Just about every time, it worked. She eventually learned the correct way to say it. Hopefully this will help. Good Luck. R.

Give it another year or so. My son had a speach eval at about 24 months which said he needed some therapy but the issues self corrected. A lot of times they can do that when they hear the words correctly said. That being said - ask your pediatrician if she needs a hearing evaluation within the next six months or so. Also - if she says them sometimes - like when you ask her to - she may be just being lazy about the speach.

Good morning! If you are in IL, there is a state-wide agency called Child & Family Connections that will evaluate your daughter and make recommendations. If you contact them, they will assign a service coordinator to come talk with you, gather information, and tell you your options. Then, you will select a speech-language pathologist (through their program) who will evaluate your daughter's speech. Their program is birth to 3 y/o. The sooner you start, the better it will be for her! Feel free to contact me if you need any more information. Good luck!

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