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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.


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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.

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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!

Hi L.,

I have a 4yr old boy that was diagnosed with an Expressive/Receptive language disorder. We were involved in the Early Intervention program that the State of Illinois provides when he was 2. It is a service that provides speech, ot, pt, developmental therapy for kids 0-3. You can go through Child and Family Connections and they will send out a speech therapist to your home and evaluate your child for free. If your child needs further assistance, they will provide it for you, in your home. It is a great way to catch things early. Can't hurt, might help! Good luck.


V. M

I think this is common as well- I think you should at least give her until 2 years of age. If she has a wide vocabulary- thats a lot so not everything is going to sound as it should.

Hi L.,
Both my daughters are in speech therapy due to prematurity. I would advise you to not wait at all. If you go through the Early Intervention Program...the evaluations and therapy sessions are free or a small co-pay is charged....depends on which insurance you have. If it is deteremined that your daughter has a speech delay, they they would assign a speech therapist and they come out to your home for all sessions. It is a pretty amazing program that has helped us soooo much. Here is a number and website in case you want to get connected with them: www.dhs.state.il.us/ei/ (800) 289-7990

I hope this helps.


I think you should trust your instinct. You can always have her evaluated by a speech therapist and see what they recommend. I am not sure how private agencies work but we go thru Child and Family Connections and they do need a doctors perscription for the therapy. You may want to call them and just ask for an evaluation. I think you are doing the right thing. Our speech therapist has helped our daugther a lot. I have also learned how to help her in the process.

Trust your gut! Child and Family Connections is a great organization that can do evaluations. Also contact your school district to see what they have too. You can also try your health department. All of these places can do screenings at various time, and for various costs. None of which are too expensive. Hope that gives you a good start.

I would do the evaluation as soon as possible. If your child needs speech the state's Early Intervention program will pay most of the cost until the childs 3rd birthday. Two of my three kids needed early intervention services. Another nice thing is if she is evaluated and there is no problem - you won't have to worry anymore!

PS - it sounds like she is fine. I would be more concerned if she wasn't speaking at all.

Hi L.,
I understand your concerns. I am a school social worker that evaluates children at age three for early childhood programs, along with a speech pathologist. Your Dr. may be right in that she is still developing her speech. Remember, every child is different and develops at different stages. But as mom, you always want to be cautious. So if you do want to get your daughter evaluated ask you dr. for resources to 0-3 programs in your area or resources for a speech pathologist that works with children ages 0-3. But as a parent, you can keep working with your daughter at home reading to her and talking with her so that her vocabualary and speech continues to develop.

Hope this helps.

Daer L.,
My daughter had speech problems and I didn't really know too much till she was in kndergarden.The teachers pick up what level they are in and that tells them if they need more help. She has been in speech up until last year in 6th grade. She is doing fine and she got so much help from all the speech teachers. In the sppech classes they always played games and that really helped with her speech too. She really enjoyed getting out of class and the 1 on 1 help. She now is a very great writer and gets A's on her papers. I would say keep playing games according to her age with words in the games. She may even like games that are 1 year younger than her too, as she gets older. I hope this helps you out. I am a stay at home Mom too. My daughter has come a long way.

I was concerned with my sons speech when he was around 16 months old. What stuck out for us was that we were both getting frustrated, he would try to tell me what he wants and I didn't understand. I was advised, by my cousin a speech pathalogist, to get an evaluation. My doctor said he was fine and he was just developing at his own pace. However, I listened to my cousin and got the evaluation and I was told he has dyspraxia. One of the issues is he omits either the first or last sound in words.
I also know people who have called early intervention and was advised to get therapy as well. If you are concerned the sooner the better. I was also given a bit of advice, speech therapy is similar to adults seeing a trainer.

I believe trust mom's instincts and have them evaluated especially at this age. You can have them evaluated for free through Illinois Early Intervention program. I highly recommend doing so (not because I think your daughter does have a problem but because EI is a great program and the evaluations are very thorough and are free). You can contact your peds office for your local office or google for Early Intervention YOUR COUNTY.

I would have your child evaluated by a speech pathologist. My son had speech issues and we didn't have him evaluated until he was three years old. By then, our insurance wouldn't cover the speech sessions because he needed to be diagnosed before 2 years of age. We did put him in speech therapy but the cost was much higher because of no insurance coverage. Your insurance might be different, but check it out just in case.

Our kids repeat exactly what they hear. So, when we say, "Ball" they don't pick up on the "L's" at the end, so that's why they say it sounding more like "Bah" instead. The correct pronounciation comes AFTER they learn the word and start to recognize the last part of words. If your doctor isn't concerned (during a time where pediatricians are on alert due to the increased length of time the average child uses a bottle or pacifier...items if used too often for too long can create speech issues) you shouldn't be concerned. Instead, be thrilled that your child is so eager to learn to speak and has so many words stored in her own vocabulary! :)

At 20 months your child is still young and speech is still developing, but my children spoke very young and had large vocabularies also, and my son had a similar problem when he was young. We had his hearing checked and it was fine, it turned out to be just what the doctor called a lazy tongue, he would not enunciate (pronounce sorry on the spellig) his words properly. They had us play a word games with him. We would say a word and he would have to repeat it exactly how we said it. To make it fun he would get to say a word and we would do the same. We would even make up words just to keep it fun so it did not seem like work. This worked great in a few short weeks his speech was greatly improved.

OMG....I am going through the same issue. I also read the article that you probably read and my husband has been concerned with my son's speech for some time now. He has tons of words and is starting to put 2 words together (he is 24 months) but still doesn't pronounce words correctly. He omits letters as well. I wrote out some of his words one morning and he didn't pronounce one word right, well except mommy. My gut, in both situations, is that it is developemental and some kids start talking like adults right away while other children go through the "baby" talk phase. That being said I am also going to talk to my ped about it at his 2 year check up and if she has any concerns we will do an evaluation. As for you...you can wait for the 2 year and see what your ped says. But also know that getting an evaluation NEVER hurts!! The least they will do, if she doesn't have a disorder, is give you strategies to help facilitate clearer speech at home. I wish us both luck!!

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.

I think this is very commom to most children when they are beginning to talk. At 20 months I wouldn't worry. I know it's hard when it's your first child. My son always changes the l,r sounds. I would continue to listen and if your gut is telling you there's a problem check it out. Otherwise in a year or so you can usually contact your local school district and they will be doing pre-K testing. You should find out alot then.Ihope this is helpful to you.

Hi L.,
Opps! - I might have sent an unfinished email...but I was the one that was amazed by all the great responses you received. I am a mother of a 20 month old boy as well as a Speech Pathologist in the Early Intervention Program through IL (EI program). What I've experienced first hand as a therapist and now as a mother, is that your daugher sounds like she is doing very well. It is very typical for a child her age to have the errors that you mentioned. My first instinct is that you should not be too concerned - but as others have mentioned, a mother knows her child best and if intuition tells you there is something amiss then you should get an evaluation for "your piece of mind". You may also want to get her hearing assessed (just incase she has hearing difficulties due to a cold or fluid in the ears, etc....) The EI Prog. through IL pays for the evaluation (both the speech and hearing)so there is no out of pocket $ unless your daughter qualifies for services. If she doesn't then the therapist will give you a report and pointers on what you can do to help her along as she developes her skills. We also go to your home so it really is only a phone call and then intake of info from you. We do the rest. Free and fairly no hassle situation (so for the mom that insinuated that therapist are out for the $ she is totally mistaken with the EI system). It's a state mandated program to help children 0-3 with various therapy services to prevent the need for services in the future (hence: Early Intervention).

But like I said early, your daughter sounds like a typical 20 month old with her errors. You can take a wait and see approach for a few months, or get her evaluated and see what they say (for free!). Some pointers until then: 1)You can over emphasis the ends of your words. 2) Make sure she sees your face and lips when you are making these sounds (face to face play) like in the mirror or during meals or bath time. 3) Don't expect her to imitate you exactly but always reward a "try" and definately reward (cheer, clap, etc...) the correct ending (don't put her down for not doing it wrong!). 4) Make it fun and natural when playing imitation games. She's so young so pick and choose times to play with words - the rest of the day don't bother her with the correct productions. 5) Rule out hearing difficulties if she continues to drop all her ending sounds as she learns new words. 6)Relax, Play, enjoy her voice and words, and just enjoy her at this moment! She's just learning to talk - how unbeleiveable that she is mastering langauge just through play and you! 7) Follow your intuition if it keeps tugging at your mind and heart strings and make the call when you think it's right.

My son will be 3 in a couple of weeks and will be going to speech therapy on April 1st. You daughter sounds normal for her age, my son has just started speaking and will only say one or two word sentences and one or two syllable words. If you are extremely concerned and are not getting anywhere with the pediatrician which is where I was, I called the local school district which was advice another mom had given me. They brought him in for testing and now will be given the help that he needs with no cost to me. Good luck with your daughter, keep an eye on her, but she sounds fine to me

I would call your county. Your Doctor shoud have the phone number. They would be the one's who come out and evaluate your child. My children were always border line but the time they got to preschool age they needed help. At that point the school district does it. All of this is free to you. Good Luck.

Hi L.,
In my experience, most pediatricians tend to minimize or dismiss red flags (no disrespect to anyone in this field). If your instincts are telling you something's not right (as well as what you've read), get it checked. It's better to overreact than to find out later that had you sought intervention earlier, the issue would have been more easily addressed. As another mom posted, the state will come to your house, it couldn't be easier, and you get immediate feedback. Good luck.

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

Don't wait, our son had different speech problem but we had him tested at 15 months. Our Dr. had us contact easter seals they set up all the testing and it did not cost anything. Children up to age three can get help thru there program with at home therapists for little cost. Just follow you instincts. It worked for us, our son is 6 and has wonderful vocabulary and reading skills.

I just want to caution you that many articles in parenting magazines are just summaries. They are very simplified. I have seen a couple articles in the past few months in two different magazines. In the most recent one, I was immediately concerned that the article gave definitions of different disorders, but did not give the age ranges for when some of these go from normal developmental issues to delays or disorders. Of course, children develop at their own pace, but there are guidelines. Reading an article that does not disclose that an /s/ distortion is completely and totally normal for a 20 month old, may lead to a parent thinking their child has a lisp.

So, if you were thinking your child was doing well before you read the article, then consider that also.

Looks like I am going to be the odd one out in these responses...lol

I have 3 children, my oldest has Autism, so there was, of course, a speech delay with him. Both of my younger 2 also have speech delays, so we are no stranger to early intervention. From my past experience, I would give her until she is 2 1/2. That way, she still has time to possibly pick up the ending sounds, and if not, she will still be young enough to be evaluated through early intervention. What you are describing is very common with children, especially children under 2. There are SO many articles like the one you read these days due to the rise in Autism, they just want everyone to be keeping an eye out on these kids since early intervention is key to helping a child with Autism.
Good Luck in what ever you decide to do!! =)

When my oldest son was 3 or so, I felt he had a speech problem. Most school districts do preschool screenings, so check when they do it in your district.(i think the kids have to be at least 3) so when that occurred, i took my son and they agreed that there was an issue. he then took speech lessons at the school.It did not cost anything. they worked on things in a session once or twice a week and then we had drills we worked on at home. I am proud to say, that this took care of everything. he went on to graduate from high school with no problems and in the top 10 of his class! 20 months is a little too early to get worried. just check with the school district for some help.

If you are concerned, you should call your school district. They should either send you an at-home test or have you bring her in to be evaluated.

My son had the exact same problem. At around the same age. Then he started having trouble in preschool because they couldn't understand him. Kids were picking on him and when he tried to tell the teacher couldn't understand him. He threw a fit because another child had bit him and my son ended up in trouble for throwing the fit! I mentioned it to his dr who gave us a referral for speech. I was very relectant but we gave it a try. It was the best thing I did for my son at that time. He immediately showed improvement and was able to communicate SO much better. I would say don't wait like I did (I never realized there was a problem till it got worse). And hey what does it hurt to at least get the evaluation and see what they say? On a side note most Early intervention through states end at 3 then move to the school systems. So I would say the earlier you get her in the better. Best wishes!

Hi...they wouldnt test my son till he was 2 he is now 6 and still doesnt talk right and has been in speech since he was 2 and has had his tonsils out because they thought that was the reason.But my son has a severe speech problem where when my son was little you couldnt understand him at all. He was in all sorts of programs from state to school dist programs. It is a never ending battle for us. Good luck to you.

I'm with the majority here. Contact Early Intervention sooner than later. It takes them a few weeks to get everything set up for an evaluation. If you wait until she's two and half to call, that will only give her a few months of actual therapy (if she qualifies) through E. I. Better to call now. The evaluation is free and is she passes the evaluation then you can rest assured.

you can go to the early childhood intervention center located in your town and they can help with getting her evaluated and if they see any delays then they can help with getting the help. i am doing the same thing with my son and it is helping. its great to know that they are there to help. dont ignore the fact that she cant get the ending of her words out there could be a delay. get the help rather than just waiting.

I agree with the other woman who said this "problem" made her sad. Most of the two year olds I teach (I am a preschool teacher) have barely decipherable speech, if any speech at all. Your daughter is far ahead for her age and your expectations for perfection are not only premature, they are frightening. I would wait until she is at least 28-30 months and if you do not trust your doctor, find another. Good luck and take it easy on your expectations.

My son dropped the ends of words and substituted different sounds for different letters. I had him evaluated thru the school system when he turned 3 and he qualified for services through the Lincoln Way At Risk Program and I love it. Because she is younger you can have her evaluated through Early Intervention through the state. I am not sure where you live. I am a Pediatric PT working in Will County. If you call the Joliet office they can direct you. The number is ###-###-####. My feeling is the younger the intervention the better. What can it hurt to have her evaluated and you do not need a doctors prescription to be evaluated, only for treatment. Good Luck. A. L

Thank your lucky stars that your daughter is doing so well. At age two, most children begin to put two words together. Beginning, final and middle consonant sounds can be imperfect without being a sign of a speech problem. You should have her screened at age 3. In Illinois, we get free screenings from the local school district or county coop. In the meantime, pronounce the sound correctly after she talks. For example, when she says dow, say down with an emphasis on the n. When she says "I wan pai" reply, "OK, here's the paiNT." My speech therapist sometimes points to her mouth when she puts the T on the end of a word to remind the kids to pronounce it. By the way, I teach Early Childhood Special Education. Most of my students are language impaired.


You shouldn't wait. You know your child better than anyone. Getting an evaluation is not going to hurt anything (it can only help). If your insurance doesn't cover speech therapy (a lot of times they will cover the evaluation but not the actual therapy if needed) contact the Early Intervention Program in your area. This is a state funded program that will allow your child to receive services at a nominal cost based on a sliding scale. My son received Speech, OT & Development Therapy through Early Intervention. He is 4 now and is in the Early Childhood program through our school district and still receives all these services. Good Luck!!!

Hi! I am a speech therapist working with children ages newborn to 6-years. There are many variables to consider with speech. Many "new talkers" delete the final consonant some of the time. IF your child has been talking for some time and her speech is not becoming more clear or more precise or if she is omitting ALL of the endings of words...I would have her evaluated. If you live in Illinois, you can have her evaluated for free by contacting Child and Family Connections in the county in which you reside (otherwise known as Early Intervention). If you have any concerns at all this may be the way to go to ease your mind. Hope this helps a bit. H. F.

Hi. I have two kids with speech problems. I don't know where you live but normally your public school should be able to help you. My school offered free screening once a month, which is how my youngest son was tested. Then at age 3 he was offer free speech through our school. It was a 1/2 hour for two days a week where I brought him to. My school also offered a 3 year old preschool in which is 5 days a week 2 -1/2 hours a day and he recieves his speech service through this. It is free since he has a speech delay and he's in preschool with other kids that have similar delays as well.

So check with your public school and if she needs speech the State will offer a program for her righ now.

Good Luck

Hi L.,

I have three children, my daughter is ll now and my twin boys are 9. At 2 months I knew that one of my boys had a hearing problem. All the ped and doctors said he was fine....I knew in my gut other wise. I live in nothern Illinois and the grammmer school had an Early Childhood Intervention program that tests a childs ability in speech, social, cognitive and small and large motor skills. At 22 months when he didn't have alot of clear speech we finally had him tested. We were told he definitly had a hearing problem which also caused large and small motor skill and balance problems. We had him futher tested through SEDOL (Special Education District of Lake County, IL) We have since moved and now see speech, audiologist and hearing Itinerates at Special Education District of McHenry). Check your district and see if your child can be tested by an audiologist. It is free. There is something called the hearing banana. It is where you are suppose to hear speech patterns. Everyones hearing is different and problems arise from different reasons. Because your child isn't saying her N, P, T etc., I would suggest you get her tested. My son cannot hear F, N, P , T, F,. These are soft sounds and that is why she may not be hearing them. However if she does have a problem with hearaing she can be fitted with hearing aids and worked with with hearing specialist to practice the sounds and recognize them. At first we went to SEDOM to get the help and then when he entered the early childhood program at school at the age of 3, the school district sent the help directly to the school. We also did some outside of school, speech help since my son was so far behind in speech and social skills. Please do not wait. If you feel something is wrong take matters into your own hands. Any delay can hurt your child emotionally if not addressed...even if it is slight. Get her tested by an audiologist now. You are your childs best advocate...no one can better decide what is best for her then you. Act today.

If you are concerned then there is no harm in making an appointment and taking her to see someone. Doctors don't know everything.

Hello. If you feel concerned about your child's speech issues, and it sounds like you are, then you should have her evaluated. Most pediatricians have a "wait and see" attitude which is not always best for the child. You can have your child evaluated for free through early intervention in IL. You can call 800-323-4769 to find the Child and Family Connections office serving your area. They can set up an evaluation for you in your home and you can go from there. I think it might give you piece of mind, plus the earlier you address any issues your child may be having, the better it is. Early intervention provides services for children from birth to three years of age. You can check out this website for further information: http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=32349. Good luck.

First of all, it sounds like your daughter is ahead of herself and will not qualify for any services through Early Intervention. If she has a wide spoken vocabulary then she will test in as "above normal." Unless she has other signs that point to a more significant delay such as autism, she's not going to qualify. The dropping of the final sounds is very developmental and will come with time.

However, that said, if you are that concerned about it, then certainly contact Child and Family Connections (IL's Early Intervention coordinators.) They will do an intake and then an evaluation on her. I believe they will do a broad screening on her and then if that shows any delays then they'll get more specific. Once they do the "specific area" testing she'll need to meet criteria (say a 30% delay, for example) in order to be eligible for services. If she does not qualify but has a slight delay, then you could look at seeking private therapy if you would like.

Good luck!

Call your local Easter Seals. They do free screening for a great deal of developmental areas. I don't think it's too early to be evaluated, but don't panic. It takes some children years to perfect their speech.

Good luck and don't worry.

I work with Illinois Early Intervention, if you have any concern about your girl, they help you here and they do an evaluation, the sooner,the better. Call this number (800-323-4769) This program is for children fron 0 to 3 years old.
I hope this can help you.

Hello L.,
I have to say that this question makes me sad. If you understood how complex it is to produce language, you would have more patience with your daughter. There is an astonishing number of brain/mouth communications that must go correctly before a person speaks reliably. Given that this is the case, it is not surprising at all that a 20 month old is still struggling with speech. Of course she is! If your doctor says she is fine, then she is. Why are you looking for trouble? You should ask yourself why you have chosen not to believe your doctor. This is a very important question. Is your doctor not trustworthy? Or do you need more to do in your day besides take care of your child? Sometimes I think we spend so much time thinkingand worrying about our children because we aren't doing enough interesting adult acitivities. There are plenty of experts out there fueling our fears of course. So you'll find plenty of scary articles. Needlessly fearful parents help these experts make a lot of money. Also,your daughter may pick up on your anxiety, and then develop a problem where she had none before- especially if you talk about your fears in front of her to others. She is listening. So please don't pathologize her. She needs you to be confident and happy about her. I have never met a 20 month old who had absolutely clear speech!
Good luck! Sasha

I have a son with speech problems. What you are describing is normal for that age. I would wait until she is over 2. My son started at 28 months.

I am inclined to agree with everyone else about early intervention. As a parent use your mommy sensor. If you feel something is not quite right then go with your gut feeling. The only thing that could really happen is that your docter is right. Has your daughter had many ear infections? If so she could possible just not be hearing things clear I would also have her hearing tested. I know that my daughter was always having ear infections she was not hearing clear.

Hi L.,
My 3 1/2 year old had speech delay that we began to notice between age 1 and 2 years. I received all kinds and varieties of advice but finally decided to have him evaluted by Early Intervention (your pediatrician can give you the contact information for your area) and let professionals in this area determine whether or not we should start speech therapy. A lot of people told me to wait but I'm so glad I didn't. Through EI, he received speech therapy in our home 2 x a week until he turned 3 and now receives speech therapy at his preschool as we continue to progress in this area. Speech development is one of those areas that yes, you can take a "wait and see" approach, but I was so glad to take the "it can't hurt and it might help" approach. I knew I would never look back and regret doing speech therapy but I might look back and regret NOT taking action when he was still young. It is very empowering to have professionals working alongside you, equipping you to best help your child. A speech therapist will also show you how you can help your daughter's speech develop in an everyday way. I would be happy to share more re our journey with this if ever desired.

Never wait-
It sounds as though your child may have Apraia-
My son had it and was diagnoised at 2 and saw a private speech therapist-and then when he was 3 rec'd services in the shcool although I retained a private speech therapist for several years-
he is fine now-
We utilized Brenda Skarin in Naperville- she could do a screening- for you- all the best- Carrie C

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.

My pediatritian noticed my son's delay at 18 months old and had me contact Child and Family Services immediately. The therapist then came to our home and did the evaluation and we were able to get speech therapy through early intervention until he turned 3 years old. At 3 the school district then takes over and my son goes to the early childhood preschool program 5 days a week. The key here is that the earlier you start with therapy the better off your child will be in the long run. Don't wait!

With Sincerity,
K. Miller

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