Midday Fix: Identifying speech issues in children and how to address them

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Michelle Worth and Erin Vollmer of TherapyWorks


How do you know if your child needs speech or language therapy?

  • Not meeting developmental milestones (you can find these on the website):
    • By one year, first word
    • By age 2, 200+ words and combining words
    • By age 4, should be understood by most people and be able to tell a simple story
    • By age 5, can take turns in a conversation and pretend play
    • By elementary school:
      • Follows complex directions
      • Understands jokes and sarcasm
      • Recognizes the emotions of others
      • Pronounces words correctly / Is understood by others
      • Tells a story and has all the elements of a story
  • Does not enjoy social interactions and prefers to play on his or her own; not engaging in eye contact.
  • Rarely initiates speech but rather repeats or imitates the words of others
  • Difficulty following directions or answers questions off-topic.
  • Struggles with reading
  • Doesn’t understand jokes or sarcasm

What are a few things parents can do at home to help their child’s speech and language development?

  • Language-rich environment
  • Narrate your child’s routine
  • Offer opportunities for communication
  • Retell the events of the day
  • Play / Pretend play
  • Pointing out emotions and facial expressions of others
  • Have fun with language!
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