Child Speech Therapy Services: When To Start?

I wanted to briefly share on this topic, because it is very important, and parents ask this question all of the time, “How can you provide speech therapy services to an infant or young child”.

Speech therapy addresses sound and phonological development, but language treatments help children understand and express words and meaning, and that is what I work on with infants and small children.

Research tells us that children speak their first words by 12 months of age, but there are some very important developmental precursors to consider before a child says their first word.

Here are some developmental milestones that I look evaluate in young children:

3-6 Months: Young children should turn their heads towards the person talking and localize to the sound. Expressively, children this age should be laughing, and babbling and imitating “talking”.

6-9 Months: Children at this age should start recognizing their mommy or daddy’s name, attend to music, wave “bye-bye”, make 2 syllable combinations and attempt to sing and shout to gain attention.

9-12 Months: By this age, the child should attend to new words, give an object upon verbal request, understand a small,simple question, use a word to call a person and start speaking 1 to 2 words spontaneously.

These are just a few language milestones that I look for in small children. More information on developmental milestones can be found here, on the American Speech and Language Association website.

If you are concerned about your child’s speech or language development or would like to know more information about speech therapy services in Tucson, please don’t hesitate to contact me here. We take many insurance plans as payment for our services, so contact me today for Tucson speech therapy services.

Using Everyday Items to Reinforce Speech and Phonics

When working with your child on speech sounds and phonology, use your time riding in the car, doing chores, or waiting in line to play games together. When doing this, take care to focus that your child will experience success.

1. Take turns playing rhyming games. Use only one sound during a session, and make sure to talk about the sound that you are making.

2. Play a name game together. Start with, “Let’s name two things that start with ________”. Choose a beginning sound, like the letter S and play from memory or by using everyday objects (eg: sun and sign). For example, ask your child to look around your surroundings and say, “Find two things that start with the S sound”.

3. A phonics game can be played using your shopping or errand list. Ask your child to first say and sound out the beginning letter of each word on the list. For example, first say the letter B and then say “the B sound is for butter”, and so forth as you choose or bag items in the store.

Remember, everyday activities and daily living provide ample opportunities to reinforce speech sounds and phonics lessons with your child. It doesn’t have to be homework! Keep it simple, and know that when parents keep it fun and interesting, their children learn quickly.

For more information about speech therapy in Tucson, Tucson speech therapy services, or web- based speech therapy services anywhere in the world, please email me right here.