Does my child need speech therapy?

Most children enter kindergarten with the ability to produce all speech sounds correctly with sentence-level expression. From the time children begin speaking around the age of one to the time they enter kindergarten, speech and language explodes.

What is typical?

The American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), which is the governing board for Speech-Language Pathologists, tells us that children should acquire a vocabulary of:

  • First words by 12 months
  • Four-six words by 15 months
  • 20-50 words by 18 months
  • 200-300 words by 24 months

By the age of three and beyond, language typically explodes from 450 words to 1,000+ (Lanza, J. and Flahive, L. (2008) Communication Milestones).

What if my child isn’t showing typical development?

If this doesn’t sound like the path your child is on, that is totally okay! If parent guilt is creeping in, please know that you are not alone and there is help (enter Speech Therapy!)

Suspecting a delay in either speech or language development? Answering a few simple questions can help you understand more about your child’s needs and reach out to a Speech-Language Pathologist.

Take action

At Exemplary Speech, we offer an easy guide (at the bottom of this page!) for determining if your child needs speech therapy. This form goes directly to our Speech-Language Pathologist who will contact you to set up a complimentary consultation to discuss your concerns.

Know the difference

Before you go, if you’re curious about the difference between speech and language (because there is a difference), let’s break that down real quick.

Speech includes the sounds we use to form language. It’s normal for children to produce errors when they are toddlers and just learning to speak, but these errors should dissipate before kindergarten. As parents, we can expect to understand a percentage of our children’s speech by certain ages:

  • By 18 months, 25% intelligible
  • By 2 years, 50-75% intelligible
  • By 3 years, 75-100% intelligible

Language includes the words we use and how we use them to communicate. Even before children speak, they use language non-verbally by pointing, gesturing and facial expressions. Some language milestones are:

  • By 12-15 months, following simple commands
  • By 18 months, symbolic play/ pretend play
  • By 24 months, sequencing of activities
  • By 36 months, episodic play

Get in touch with us

If you suspect a speech or language delay/disorder, please complete our Speech Checklist or feel free to reach out to discuss your concerns. We are here for you to help your child develop critical communication skills needed for relationship-building, success in school, and beyond!