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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 ;)
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.
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!
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.
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..
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.