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Speech and Language Therapy FAQ
By the age of 2, most children will:
- Use at least 50 words
- Begin combining words (e.g., No cookie, More juice)
- Recognize pictures in books and listen to simple stories
- Put many actions together during play like feeding a doll, stirring, scooping, etc.
- Follow a series of two related commands (e.g., Pick up the ball and give it to me)
If your child appears frustrated when trying to communicate or does not appear to understand simple directions, it would be good to contact a Speech-Language Pathologist. If your child does require some support, therapy at this stage of development typically focuses on giving parents strategies to help their child develop language. For additional information, please refer to: The Hanen Centre®
There is a range in which typically developing children acquire sounds. Some sounds are seen earlier in development whereas others appear later. Often, parents think there is a problem when their child cannot produce a particular ‘sound’; however, there are many layers to the speech/language system of a child. When working with younger children and preschoolers, Speech-Language Pathologists examine several factors such as sound patterns (phonology), overall intelligibility, and the structure and function of the parts used for speech (lips, tongue, jaw). As a general rule for parents of young children, it is more effective to look at the overall intelligibility of your child when deciding whether there may be a problem. A 3 year old, for example, would be expected to be approximately 75% intelligible during everyday conversation. For further information, please refer to:
Stuttering most often begins between the ages of 2 and 5 years.1 Typically developing children are disfluent at times; for example, they may repeat words or phrases (e.g., I want a….I want a cookie). If your child’s disfluencies are quite noticeable and appear to be interfering with his/her ability to communicate, it is a good idea to contact a Speech-Language Pathologist (S-LP). The S-LP may ask you to monitor your child’s speech for a period of 3-6 months in order to observe any patterns or changes in severity. Stuttering can resolve on its own; however, there are particular types of disfluencies and risk factors that may suggest your child’s stuttering will persist. In the meantime, it is helpful to be patient with your child, allowing them to get his/her message out without interruption. In addition, try to focus on your child’s message rather than the disfluent speech. Children can quickly and easily become self-conscious about their communication. For further information, please refer to:
1Guitar, Barry. Stuttering – An Integrated Approach to Its Nature and Treatment (Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006), 26.
As a parent, you know your child better than anyone else. If you feel that something is not right with your child’s development, you may find it helpful to raise your concerns to your family doctor, who may decide to refer your child to a pediatrician. You can also speak to a community-based or private SLP regarding communication and play.
Many extended health care plans provide some funding for speech/language services. Some additional funding sources are listed below:
PRESIDENT’S CHOICE CHILDREN’S CHARITY