Toddlers with speech delays can benefit from early intervention therapies.
Recognizing toddler speech problems isn’t always easy. Toddlers need to naturally strengthen the muscles in their mouth to better control their speech. Don’t assume your toddler is suffering from a speech delay if her words are not clear by 2 or 3 years of age. However, if you do have concerns about a possible speech problem with your toddler, visit a doctor. Early intervention therapies can help your child improve her speech.
1Determine what is normal for a child of his age. According to KidsHealth of the Nemours Foundation, children from 2 to 3 years of age experience an explosion of language at that age. Kids in this age group combine two and three words together to form simple sentences. They should also be able to identify common objects such as body parts and household items.
2Check for signs of oral motor disorders. Toddlers with apraxia can not move their mouths correctly in order to form words. Articulation disorders might involve lisping or replace sounds in words. Children might drool excessively, leave out letters in simple words or have trouble moving their tongue from side to side.
3Note the ways that the toddler communicates. If the toddler is more prone to point and gesticulate instead of using his speech, this could indicate a speech delay.
4Watch the toddler to monitor speech patterns. Does she speak spontaneously? Or does she merely imitate the words and sentences spoken to her? If she is having difficulty communicating her needs, it could be a symptom of a problem.
5Consider his understanding of language. A receptive speech delay occurs when a toddler does not understand simple commands.
6Compare a toddler’s speech with other children in her age group. Although every child is different, some consistencies remain. According to KidsHealth, caregivers should have the ability to understand about half of a toddler’s speech by age 2 and three-quarters by age 3.
- A speech pathologist can provide an evaluation to effectively determine whether your toddler is suffering from a delay.A pediatrician can recommend a consultation with an ear, nose and throat doctor as part of the toddler’s assessment. Frequent ear infections could be at the root of your toddler’s speech problems.