When do I need to talk to a child speech pathologist?

How early is too early to engage a child speech pathologist?

As child speech pathologists in Brisbane north, we are often asked – ‘How do I know if I need speech pathology?’ or ‘When should we start therapy?’

Our speech pathologists work with families on the northside of Brisbane from as young as 18 months of age.

When we consider how important words are for life and learning, as speech pathologists we are compelled to encourage families to start intervention early.

Recent studies indicate that 13 percent of primary and secondary school children have a communication impairment, such as difficulty talking, listening, reading or writing. However teachers report 21 percent of children enter into school with expressive language difficulties.

Should we ‘wait and see’?

Many of the difficulties school aged children can have with literacy, oral language and writing skills have a start in the pre-school years.

The attitude of ‘just wait and see’ can in some cases be harmful, while early action can prevent or lessen the impact of language difficulties.

How would we know that our child needs help with some of their developmental language learning skills?

By 2 years

If your son/daughter is not talking yet, Speech Pathology can help develop communication skills and get the ball rolling.

By 3 years

If your child is extremely difficult to understand, or not combining words into sentences, work on pronunciation skills and expressive language skills can help reduce frustration.  For children at this age who are having difficulty understanding or responding to simple questions, and engaging in book reading, therapy can also help with comprehension skills.

By 4 years

At this stage children are typically speaking clearly (while a few minor speech errors may still be present), and using longer sentences to express their ideas and investigate their world.  They will be engaging with books, and beginning to recognise some aspects of print. (e.g. letters in their name, playing with rhyming words)

In the school years

Children then start to move beyond the ‘developing language’ stage, and start using their language to learn.  By the school years, the focus is on learning more advanced language skills, such as deliberate sentence construction, extending narrative skills, and oral presentation skills.  Children also learn to read, and investigate their world via texts.

What does therapy look like?

Our sessions are tailored to the individual needs of the child, and our child speech pathologists work with families to make the therapy fun, and relevant for home and school/kindy environments.  Families attend regularly, and we set short and longer term goals to give clear direction about how the activities and therapeutic interventions will support their child’s development.

If you know someone who has been commenting that their child might need help, encourage them to give our child speech pathologists a call! We work with children, parents, caregivers and educators across Brisbane north suburbs, including Geebung, Wavell Heights, Chermside, Zillmere and Northgate.

Please contact us for more information, and stay up to date with our Facebook and Instagram accounts to hear the latest news from our team.