How do you deal with a 4 year old with speech delay?

By the time a child is 4 years old, they are usually talking up a storm. However, if your child's speech is delayed, what practical steps can and should a mom take?

25  Answers

1 19

my daughter has a speech delay and we actually taught her sign language so she could communicate with us as she was getting so frustrated. we got a macaton book which mr tumble signs and used that and this has helped her speech come on in leaps and bounds she still signs if she doesnt know what the word she wants to speak is.

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3 31

I identified a speech delay in my son when he was approximately 18 months old. If I waited for an "official" diagnosis, he would probably still be struggling. I started him with a private speech therapist at approximately 20 months. I got him approved for Early Intervention at 2. I sought out everything I could find on speech delays. The book The Late Talker was very helpful. I found it when Beckett was nearly 2. I wish I'd found it much earlier. The book described a condition called Apraxia. I think my son had it, and I treated him accordingly. Fish oils, especially in a particular combination, can be very helpful. Apraxia, particularly, but other speech disorders as well respond to clearing up pathogenic organisms in the gut. Digestive enzymes and probiotics have been a big help. My son had speech therapy anywhere from 2x/week to 5x/week for the last three years, but the things that really helped him leap forward were the additions of the supplements. Lately, we have been seeing a homeopath who has given him a remedy that caused another leap forward. At the age of almost 5, he is almost completely caught up.

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4 0

Hi Zoey, Can you please share with me the stuff in details that u used to help him? My daughter is 3 and same thing...we have been doing the speech therapy once a week. I've also read about the gut problem and i gave her soy milk like alot of ppl said and wala...she was putting 2 words together. We had to stop soy due to allergic reaction. I would glad if you can share some tip. Thanks!

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6 1

My daughter is 4yr with speech delay and she attends speech therapy. It is also important to read age appropriate books to her
everyday. Don't get discouraged and pray for peace, patience, and joy for your child.

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1 4

My now 6 yr old and my 3 yr old both have verbal apraxia (in essence, a special form of speech delay), both were diagnosed early, both entered free community health programs at about 2.5 yrs. The 6 yr old "caught up" at about 4.5 years and my 3 yr old was lucky to be included in an intensive apraxia clinic at the University of Alberta and continues to make progress.
Daily practice with a parent/caregiver is crucial - and make it fun, such as singing into mirrors, chalk writing a "B" and dancing around it practicing B sounds and words, etc. A great resource is a book called "It Takes Two to Talk" by Pepper and Weitzman. And a trick to cut down on frustration is to take photos of essential practical items (snacks, toys, places, etc) and display them on your fridge or somewhere accessible for the child so that your child may bring you a picture of their "juice" when they want it or a picture of their favorite park when they just can't quite communicate what they want - this becomes a great opportunity to model and practice the word with them.

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Speech delays are hard, sign language, early intervention, picture books of everyday items ) made with photos you take), and reading, reading, and more reading helps a ton. I am also using a great online program called Speechtails (.com). We love it and are having success! I love being able to ask questions of a SLP whenever I need to and I can do that on Speechtails!

Good Luck!

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1 4

my son had speech therapy for a short period at around 20 months and was released from the program as right were he should be developementally. I didn't really notice much progress and had his preschool screening as earl as possible as soon as he turned 3. He qualified for a wonderful program through our school district and has been making excellent strides. I think he will do fine entering kindergarten after 2 years of phenetics training. Start with your doctor, they can usually make great recomendations, but trust your instinct, you are wth him every day.

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14 7

Every state has an early intervention program but your child is too old you age out at 3 you will have to get the child evaluated on your own or you will not get help until they get to school the earlier the better. Everyone should have their child evaluated at 18 months by E.I. they pick up things you are not even aware of that is your best answer. I had my twins evaluated for speech and they ended up getting OT and PT.I would have had no idea they needed the help they got and are still receiving.

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23 18

Not necessarily true on the aging out....IF there is a problem there are agencies that help children over the age of 3, Head Start , for one, and the child goes to a center for age appropriate help, it is just not done at home. There ARE still programs available. Contact ur department of human services, they can tell you the right place to call to get help.

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675 1

Do as my sister did. She had my niece evaluated at age three was found to have been born with a disconnect in her brain to her mouth. The words were stored in her brain but she couldn't verbalize. After a few months with a speech therapist, she Is a chatty nearly four year old and quite happy with herself ;)

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28 14

You should bring your child to a professional developemental person. If you go to your local immunization building, they will most likely be able to tell you where you can find one. They can tell you everything you need: advice, techniques, information, and everything else that comes along with it. Don't be discouraged, all children grow at their own rate.

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1 15

My older son didn't speak until he was over 2 years old. We had him in speech therapy, then Early On (Michigan's early intervention program), then another early childhood program where a preschool teacher was at our house twice a week to work with him. We also took him to local playgroups (free through Early On) for interaction with other kids his age. Our pediatrician referred us to Early On, who referred us to the playgroups and the early childhood program. Check with the pediatrician for possible referrals, and also check your local school district - by law they have to provide special services (speech, etc.) to qualifying preschoolers in their district (check with the special ed department). Those are two good places to start!

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5 20

Amanda K. is right. You should start by seeing your pediatrician to see if there is an official diagnosis. If so, you can get state services to support your child's "special need." When the child begins school, his/her services will be transferred to the school district for administration. In addition, you can begin using sign language with your child. We used Signing Time videos. Signing helps a lot to reduce communication frustration between the two of you and the child will naturally stop signing when he/she begins saying the words. My 4-yr-old son has Down syndrome and has done very well with signing and speech therapies. We highly recommend them!

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6 0

i am giving this testimony cos l am happy My name is mrs. Dona Smith from Houston,taxes.i never believed in love spells or magic until i met this spell caster once. when i went to Africa in December this year on a business summit. i ment a man called dr. ADAGBA.He is powerful he could help you cast a spells to bring back my love’s gone,misbehaving lover looking for some one to love you, bring back lost money and magic money spell or spell for a good job.i’m now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 3 weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 2 years… i really loved him, but his mother was against me and he had no good paying job. so when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him..at first i was undecided,skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try. and in 6 days when i returned to taxes, my boyfriend (is now my husband ) he called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everything had been settled with his mom and family and he got a new job interview so we should get married..i didn’t believe it cos the spell caster only asked for my name and my boyfriends name and all i wanted him to do… well we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid,and my husband also got a new job and our lives became much better. in case anyone needs the spell caster for some help, email address adagbaspiritualtemple@yahoo.com Great ADAGBAi thank you very much thank you in 1000000 times.. if not you i would have been losted and wasted thank you. please make sure you contact him for any financial difficulties okay.. What a powerful man such as Dr ADAGBA.. he is so much powerful..\\ email him for any difficulties.. adagbaspiritualtemple@yahoo.com

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0 0

We're raising our granddaughter, we noticed when we got her at 2 yrs she was completely non verbal. We fought with doctors and insurance companies for 2 yrs to get someone to do something. She's now 5 and attends pre-school thru the public school system and receives multiple therapies there as she has development delay. While we were fighting for a diagnosis so that something would be done, we worked with her, daily. We sang song, read lots of books, only asked her open ended questions (no "yes or no" questions) and encouraged a response, even if it was only a sound, it was something. Now that she's in school, she's speaking much clearer and people other than me can actually understand her. We continue to work with her daily and try to turn everything (no matter what it is) into a learning experience and encourage her to use her words to tell us what she wants. She often gets frustrated when she can't think of the right word, we tell her "calm your chi" which she knows means to take a deep breath or two, calm down and try again. We refuse to give her what she wants if she merely points and grunts at it (as she used to), she must attempt to tell us what she wants in order to get it. She loves music, Katy Perry in particular and loves to sing along to her song "Roar" so we play it often. Because she likes to sing so much we often have days where we sing our conversations, which helps her speech. We work closely with the school and they have been wonderful with individual therapy, classroom therapy that enlisting her classmates to help her with her words. Hope this helps give you some ideas.

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0 0

My daughter is 3 and a half and she has a severe delay in speech. Sometimes speech delays can lead you towards autism. Not to say that she has it but the best thing to do is to see an interventionist who can point your 4 year old in the right direction. Speech therapy is good too but see your pediatrician just to make sure so they can send you to an interventionist who can really assess your child. My daughter has the hypothesis of autism at the moment, goes to a rehabilitation program for kids with the hypothesis of autism and actually, in the next few weeks, she will have her diagnosis as to whether she is or isn't autistic but it's definitely something that should be ruled out because autism is basically the way the child receives information. If it's not properly taught because her diagnosis is wrong or no one looked at it, that won't help her speech at all.

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my 4yrs old boy says few words once a while, gets frustrated if i dont get what he wants by screaming. all he enjoys doing is running and jumping everywhere we go as his very hyper, he writes 1-4 , a and b. but still cant say what his writing. my 2yrs old daughter writes same and communicate with him, she counts and expect him to repeat after her. but he does not..
i feel for him when peeps communicate and no response.
im so confuse about his speech

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0 0

My son is 4rs old, he screams to communicate. he goes to school and still picking on few words, is words are probably once a week and he gets frustrated whenever his trying to communicate and i don't get what he wants. he writes 1-4 by himself and all he likes doing is running, jumping round the house.

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When my son was 3 yrs old we realized that he wasn't able to pronounce a lot of his words correctly. He was in preschool and was a very fast learner. He called chicken "Picken " God " ord". He went through a lot of test including his hearing which I knew was excellent so the next move was a Speech Therapist and it was where we found out that was the problem he was seen by the Speech Therapist for a year where his speech improved. He is now a grown man and speaks very proper. This proves that early detection and intervention is key.

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30 31

My daughter was four years and two months old when I had the school district eval her speech. She spoke in jumbled sentences that required a lot of translation, and used 'strange' wording that most people did not understand. I knew she was very intelligent - because of the creativity she used, signs she had made up, and the fact that she was trying to read at the same time. I had 'guessed' there was a problem since she was about 18 months... and at 2.5 she had a big spurt, but I saw the same problems persisting all the way through three... I should have gotten an eval earlier, through EI, but my husband and all others around me were sure she would 'grow out of it', because she was so obviously smart and her hearing was perfect. My husband wasn't too happy when I did schedule the eval with the speech department of the school district. He said he thought it was unnecessary, but if I was that worried, it couldn't hurt to check. The school district had a program specifically for problems like hers, and put her in one day a week. The children at that school have many kinds of developmental delays, and some of the other parents even look at us and say 'why is she here?' when we come to pick her up - but if they listen for a few minutes sometimes they catch the oddity and nod. She will be in the program for two years before she goes to kindergarten. One year has passed already and I have seen an entirely different child . Where she had been frustrated about being unable to express fears and worries - she tries harder now., and knows it is as much her as it is us in the misunderstandings. She still sometimes mixes up little words like 'to', 'from', 'he', 'she' etc.. but she is accepting of correction, thinking hard on HOW things are said and even her Dad has said he is so glad I did this, she is much more understandable even for him - and there is also much less frustration.

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0 19

I have a 6 year old daughter kayla. She has a speech delay of a 2-3 year old.. She's gettn better. But sometimes when we are out people look at us funny..I wonna say what are u looking at.. But i dont..She is developementally delayed..she goes to a wonderful school..for speech, ot, an pt..sometimes i say where did i go wrong..when i was pregnant i was sooo sick..an a couple of weeks after she was born, she had an acid reflex..Now she is smart, bright,smiley, says hi to everyone..She loves to be with other kids..her teacher says she'll get better in her own time..
it is really hard but we do it..

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6 11

My son had constant ear infections and the docs didn't move forward with tubes until he failed a hearing test and you could actually hear a "deaf like" tone in his voice. At two he still wasn't really verbally communicating and it's because you can't learn what you can't hear. By 2 1/2 he had full hearing (actually was sensitive to noise) and he was starting to talk. However he was very behind compared to the other kids his age. At 4 there were a lot of sounds he couldn't do yet. We went to the Elementary school zoned for our neighborhood, and they performed a variety of tests with him (including another hearing test). 2 sessions about 30 minutes each. He was then labled having a speech disability. Not sure if that's the same as a speech delay. As soon as the school year begins in September, he will have 2 speech therapy sessions per week at the school. Because it's part of the county, there is no cost for the sessions. The idea is to have him caught up to his peers by the time he starts kindergarden in 2012.

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41 15

When I realized there was a delay it was too late to get help through her preschool. She was considered too old (she is 5). So I called the elementary school she will be attending and had her evaluated by the speech therapist there. She was diagnosed with a speech delay and we went through a process of getting her approved for speech therapy. Basically they labeled her (can't remember the technical term since it is after midnight, lol) and she is now able to get speech therapy before she starts kindergarten. Otherwise I would have had to wait until the fall when she starts school. It was a process getting approved, but fairly easy.

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3 0

My son also had a speech delay.he is now in Grade 11. He is a slow learner .so I worked with him through flash cards

9 13

I agree, not waiting is not the answer, now that you are "thinking that something is amiss your next step is to find out why. I would check the child's hearing, I would then go to a speech therapist after that as well as Occupational therapist. I noticed in my son Robert at ten months and after a year and half of frustrating "help" with our Early Access people, i wouldn't recommend them ever", i contaced our ChildServe agency and have seen great results. Non talker to very much so. Good luck and keep reaching out for those answers yet always remember you are the very best advocate your little one has. Diane, iowa

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14 24

My son Cameron is speech delayed. I was also speech delayed. I did not start talking until before I started school. I had to get him tested by his doctor to see what he was saying and all he would say is grunting or getting mad at me because I did not know what he wanted. My doctor suggested that he get tested for going to a special education school that specializes in speech delay and we did. He went to school for two years and now he is attending a preschool in September. He is in a IEP program for speech delayed. He is talking alot more and he also gets help from his older brother.

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Hi Cythnia: glad to hear that her speech therapist was able to evaluate her. What did they label her as, in some states that matters. In iowa we are a non labeling state..not that the professsionals don't have their own terms "it's just that they are not supposed to 'consider the child as such'..meaning that if discover they do then they'd wish that the "advocate mommy would turn around and not say something". My walk to getting my son to Kindergarten has not be a fun one because of "school profressionals" so because of their comments, actions, they have "come to really understand that when I mean I'll advocate for Robert I'll be right there doing just that. Continue to walk amongst the professionals, learn all you can, I get the sense you are doing that, and reach out. That is what we are here for. Diane, Iowa

4 25

When we noticed that our son was having speech issues we contacted the Bright Beginnings (pre school) program in our area. They screened him, even though he was only 3 and set up speech therapy class through the school district. After only 8 months of therapy he had made great improvement. He is out of therapy now (summer vac.) but will be rescreened in the fall to see if he needs to continue.

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6 14

I tink it'll be better for the parents to talk more with the child. Take them out to meet more people.
Previously my daughter only speaks when she's 3 yrs old.

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17 59

You go to a speech pathologist as soon as possible! Speech therapy is actually a lot of fun for kids and it's a lovely time for the child to spend special one on one time with a parent. As a parent, get really involved in the sessions and do lots of work (which will seem like games to your child) at home and it will all come together eventually. Almost every second child does speech therapy at some stage, and it works wonders, it really and truely does.

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9 14

waiting until 4 is too late you should have concerns if they are not talking by 2 years old and then its getting to the Speech and language therapist or pathologist depending on what country you are in !!! they need to identify what the problem is speech, understanding or producing words and sentences. EARLY EARLY EARLY for identification and treatment!!! this is the key!!!

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