When and how do you know your child needs a speech therapist?

[deleted account] ( 4 moms have responded )

My little girl is 3 and doesn't talk very clearly. Some kids her age and younger is a little advanced. Should I be worried?

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Chet - posted on 08/14/2013

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I wouldn't worry. Most kids are fine with time. If your daughter is frustrated or you are concerned though, it wouldn't hurt to meet with an SLP. We met with one twice when our second child was not quite two, and the SLP gave us lots of very useful information. Our daughter would have been fine without visiting an SLP, but things were much easier and less stressful on us all knowing the information we got from an assessment.

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[deleted account]

Thanks! She is my only child and I want her to be exactly (or more) than where she needs to be! I'll arrange something soon! Thanks for your reassurance! I want to do everything right but sometimes idk what to do!

Chet - posted on 08/14/2013

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If is was me, I would arrange to meet with an SLP and have your daughter assessed. The appointment should be fun. Your daughter and the therapist will play, and a good therapist will be able to engage her and make the visit very comfortable and enjoyable. Very likely, the therapist won't recommend ongoing therapy, but will just give you some ideas about where your daughters speech is exactly, things you can do to help her along, and what to watch for in terms of red flags. They say that a typical three year old will have about three quarters of their speech be understandable by an adult they don't know. That's just a guideline though, and many children don't speak clearly at 3 but are fine by the time they are 4, 6 or 8. Certain speech sounds (like r) can take a long time for a child to learn and it is very normal for even a six or seven year old to still have some minor speech issues that they will grow out of. You seem nervous about this though, and I think a visit with an SLP will be worth the peace of mind. An SLP will be able to answer all of your questions about your daughter's speech and language development.

[deleted account]

Should I just give it more time? I want to start her in preschool and i know kids can be cruel sometimes. I just want whats best for her.

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