Solace Blog


Speech Delay: When to Seek Help

January 16, 2019

Kids understand language far before they know how to speak.  Science tells us that babies can actually hear us when they are in utero, and new research indicates that infants as young as six months can understand the meaning of many spoken words.  The timing of all this – hearing, understanding, and eventually speaking – can be quite frustrating for many children, as they often times want to communicate before they are able to. Furthermore, even when children are able to speak, it can be difficult for all of us; perhaps they’re hard to understand, stuttering, or repeating parts of a sentence so things don’t quite make sense.  How do you know, as a parent, what’s typical of “baby” communication, and when to seek help? In general, if your child is 3 years or older and is struggling with any or all of the bullets below, consider speaking to your pediatrician about your concerns.

Signs You Need to Seek Speech Therapy

  • Strangers do not understand:  Neighbors, new friends and anyone unfamiliar with your child struggles to understand him/her.  If you’re a parent who finds themselves constantly deciphering what your child says to others, consider talking to your pediatrician about having a pediatric speech evaluation done.
  • They don’t sound like other kids their age:  We know not to compare our child to other children, but if other kids around the same age sound more mature, intelligible and are generally easier to understand, you may want to discuss the possibility of a speech delay with your pediatrician.
  • Frustration:  Your child whines and throws tantrums because they are so frustrated that they cannot communicate effectively.
  • Eating challenges:  Kids who have difficulties with eating and feeding development may have poor oral motor skills, which are directly related to speech and language development.
  • No interest: Your child does not try to communicate with you, or with others.
  • Failure to respond: Your child does not respond when spoken to.
  • Stuttering: Your child has been stuttering for 6 months or more.
  • Voice problems: Child’s voice sounds rough, raspy or just “off” in general.
  • Vocabulary size: Look for your child to have around 200+ words.

If you believe your child meets any of the criteria above, please reach out to your pediatrician or call Solace Pediatric Home Healthcare directly to set up a pediatric speech evaluation.  Early intervention is absolutely best, and can change a child’s developmental path and improve outcomes for both you and your child.

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