As a parent, you might have heard the phrase “just give your child time” and “just wait and see” whenever you express your concerns about a possible delay in your child’s development. While children exhibit different developmental milestones and are often able to catch up with their peers, some may need medical interventions to help provide strategies to achieve their milestones.
Most children with speech sound errors including articulatory difficulties (sound errors) need specialized intervention to achieve certain speech milestones and to increase how well others understand them. Seeking early intervention speech therapy is a great move towards improving the quality of your child’s life.
What is Early Intervention Speech Therapy?
Early intervention speech therapy focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of speech and language disorders and delays in children aged between infancy and typically 5 years. These delays and disorders can include motor speech disorders such as apraxia, speech sound errors that impact their overall production of words, a lisp, voice disorders, receptive language delays and disorders such as following directions, pointing to items when named, and expressive language delays and disorders such as meeting vocabulary milestones and effectively communicating their wants and needs with minimal frustration.
Even though early speech intervention procedures often target infants and toddlers, they can be carried out until your child is able to communicate effectively. However, the earlier you begin early intervention speech therapy, the better off your child will be as you are providing them different strategies that work best for them to achieve communication milestones while teaching you as a parent how to carryover the strategies at home during everyday activities and daily routines to assist in increasing the exposure to the strategies that best work for them.
How to Get Started With Early Intervention Therapy
Once you have noticed your child has a speech difficulty including being hard to understand them or others not understanding your child, its best to seek out strategies and help from a speech therapist to begin assessing what sounds to work on, and how best to increase their clarity of words so everyone can understand them including peers. Many parents often don’t know how to get started. So we are going to detail it for you:
- Contact Milestone Therapy Group or your pediatrician. If contacting your pediatrician, explain to the pediatrician the nature of your concern regarding your child’s speech and the need to obtain a speech and language evaluation from a professional Speech Language Pathologist. Your pediatrician can refer your child to Milestone Therapy Group for speech therapy.
- Next, book an appointment with our speech therapist. They will examine your child and ask you important questions about his or her speech history, before providing a diagnosis that reflects the difficulty and any therapy recommendation.
The Importance of Early Intervention Therapy
Early intervention speech therapy can have a significant impact on your child’s social and emotional wellness. Children who are good communicators and understand their communication partners are more confident and can interact with friends in daycares, preschools and during community outings such as playgrounds. However, those with speech difficulties and language difficulties can be timid and move away from peers not attempting to express themselves or their needs. Early intervention speech therapy can help your child achieve strategies to assist them in interacting with peers, friends, teachers, and family impacting their overall quality of life.
In addition, early intervention speech therapy can also increase a child’s comfortability and success at school. Children who can correctly differentiate and understand sounds are able to develop phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness contributes to improved reading and spelling skills. Building language skills early on will assist in answering questions and participating in classroom activities.
Early intervention also helps to resolve developing speech and language difficulties in children. Some speech sound errors and difficulties, if left untreated, are harder to correct as the longer the child practices the incorrect speech sound, the longer and harder it will be to change that speech pattern.
Whenever you feel uneasy or worried about your child’s speech development milestones, don’t sit back and wait for fate to take its course. Step out of that comfort zone and book an appointment with the best speech therapy for toddlers and early preschoolers near you, such as the tried and tested Milestone Therapy Group. If you are in the Philadelphia or Main Line area, don’t hesitate to do a quick Google search of child therapy services in Philadelphia and/or Main Line and choose a suitable speech therapist for your child.
When it comes to speech challenges with children, taking chances isn’t an option.