Many parents do not recognize the early signs of a critical health issue: communication disorders. Speech, language, and hearing disorders are among the most common disabilities in the United States, with 8-9% of young children suffering from speech disorders. This month, during the national observance of Better Hearing and Speech Month, I encourage parents to take stock of their child’s communication health. Sometimes, problems achieving academically, or social or behavioral issues in school, may be the result of an undiagnosed speech or hearing disorder. It is important for parents to be attuned to the early warning signs of these conditions. In young children, early treatment can help prevent them from falling behind academically, socially, and in other key areas at a critical time in their development.
Signs of common speech and language disorders in children between birth to 4 years of age, an important stage in early detection of communication disorders, include:
· Does not interact socially (infancy and older)
· Does not follow or understand what you say (starting at 1 year)
· Says only a few sounds or words or makes only a few gestures (18 months to 2 years)
· Says words that are not easily understood (18 months to 2 years)
· Does not combine words (starting at 2 years)
· Struggles to say sounds or words (To see the age range during which most children develop each sound, visit Talking Child’s speech chart.)
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), through its Identify the Signs campaign, offers many resources to help parents learn about these disorders. Visit http://identifythesigns.org to learn more about what to watch for and treatment options.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us at (503) 352-0240 if you have any concerns about your child’s speech or language or to schedule a speech and/or language evaluation.
Yours in Health,New Horizons Wellness Services
13333 SW 68th Pkwy,
Tigard, OR 97223
New Horizons Wellness Services provides a true multidisciplinary approach to mental & physical health treatments for children, adults and families.