Speech or Language Therapy? Is My Child Too Young To Evaluate?

Firstly, what’s the difference between speech and language?

Think of it this way. Speech is just sound. Language is meaning.

The first thing I do when I evaluate a child is to determine if we are dealing with a speech problem, language problem or both. I listen to the child’s speech patterns. Next, if the child can participate in a formal speech assessment, I will administer a standardized assessment tool. If the child is too young to participate in a formal test, I then take tons of data and analyze the sample for problematic sounds and patterns. This is one of the ways to determine if a child has a speech problem.

If I think the child needs a language evaluation, I try to engage the child into conversation or play. I look for many skills, like eye contact, attention to task, use of basic concepts, overall expression and comprehension, etc. If the child is old enough, I will attempt a standardized assessment. I also use developmental checklist to assess language if we are working with infants or if the child cannot complete a standardized assessment.

So to answer the question, it’s never too early to get evaluated for speech or language therapy.
If a child or infant is identified early, the prognosis for improvement is greater.