So you’re starting to have concerns creep in about your child’s communication. Maybe they are not saying as many words as you think they should. Maybe they are difficult to understand when they talk. Maybe they’ve started stuttering when talking. Whatever the case may be, you’re concerned… but only a little, right? It can’t be anything to worry about. “Speech therapy” is for kids at least 4 years old or older. I must be over-reacting.
STOP RIGHT THERE. Many parents contact me after having similar thoughts or concerns as these. Sometimes they had these thoughts years ago and are now realizing that those concerns were very real and report they wished they would have started services when they first had concerns. I’m here today to tell you a few reasons why you should honour your parent intuition and why speech-language pathologists #dontwaitandsee (thanks to All About Communication for this awesome hashtag).
Reason #1: When you wait, your child can fall farther behind. A 2-year-old child who is not saying any words is about a year behind expected for their age but this can very quickly grow to 1 ½ to 2 years behind if you wait to begin services until their 3rd birthday.
Reason #2: Those bigger gaps in reason #1... they typically require more therapy to catch up, which could mean more time and money.
Reason #3: Early intervention (especially before 3 years of age) is focused on supporting you, as the parent, to best support your individual child’s language skills. You will learn knowledge, skills and strategies to support your child and feel empowered!
Reason #4: Research is now highlighting some of the connections between early language skills, speech development and literacy skills (if these terms are confusing, go check out this blog). Therefore, supporting a child early may help to reduce the risk of later reading and writing difficulties.
Reason #5: A phone call, email or even an assessment is absolutely no obligation to therapy. I can only speak for my own private practice but I would warn you against private practices that make you feel “locked” or “trapped” into therapy. I am very honest with parents that I love being a resource to answer questions or chat about concerns, even if they don’t go ahead with an assessment. Parents often report that just being able to speak with a professional is a relief to get clear and accurate information.
After reading this, I hope you feel less alone and more empowered (#knowledgeispower). You can find a ton of information about my services throughout my website (including my prices, #transparency) and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about:
-Your child’s communication development
-How private speech-language pathology services work
-What an assessment looks like for your child’s age
-How speech-language pathology services could help your child