Guest Post: Signs a Child May Need Speech Therapy

Thursday, November 15, 2012
Good evening!! Today I have a guest post from Ken Myers. This post has a lot of great information for therapists, teachers, and especially parents! Happy reading!

Signs a Child May Need Speech Therapy
A child’s first words are a proud moment for any parent or caregiver as it is a sign that their child is experiencing normal development. However, speech and language are very complicated skills to learn that can be influenced by many factors. Learning a new language, developmental delays and a child’s physical attributes can all contribute to a delay in their speech acquisition. Additionally, speech delays are becoming increasingly common as better diagnostic tools are being developed. Generally, the earlier that a delay is diagnosed, then the better a child will do in their therapy sessions. Therefore, the following signs of a speech delay are described in order to help parents, teachers and therapists to quickly identify a possible speech problem so that therapy can be begun as soon as possible.

1. No speech at all-By the time that a child is only a few months old, they should be able to string sounds together to convey emotion. They will continue to build upon this skill throughout their early childhood years by adding new words and simple sentences. By the time that a child enters elementary school, they should have a fairly large vocabulary. If they do not speak at all, this is a definite sign for concern.

2. Does not follow directions-A speech delay does not always mean that a child cannot speak. Sometimes, their expressive speech may be developed while their receptive speech is behind. If a child does not follow instructions well, then it is possible that they may lack the ability to understand the speech that is directed at them.

3. Drooling or messy eating-When a child lacks the muscle strength or flexibility to speak, then they will also experience other problems with their oral abilities. Often, this makes it difficult for them to swallow their saliva or to chew their food. Many times, a child’s eating habits will become less messy as their speech begins to improve.

4. Hard to understand-A child who may need speech therapy will often be hard to understand by other children and adults. While this is fairly common in the early years, by elementary school, a child should be understandable to others. Parents and teachers may notice signs such as rapid speech, stuttering or left out vowels and consonants.

5. Behavior problems-A child who has trouble speaking will often exhibit frustration and anger when their needs are not understood. They may also hit, bite or scratch out of the inability to explain their needs to other children and adults.

Language and speech development is a slow and continuous process that takes place over several years. For this reason, it is important to be able to identify a potential speech problem as soon as possible so that the child will not continue to have their progress hindered. By recognizing the signs of a speech delay, such as stammering, silence or frustration, adults can help to identify children who will benefit from speech therapy.

Author Byline:
Ken Myers as an Expert Advisor on multiple household help issues to many Organizations and groups, and is a mentor for other “Mom-preneurs” seeking guidance.  He is a regular contributor of “”.  You can get in touch with him at


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