How do I know if my child needs speech therapy?
It is difficult to know whether your child would benefit from speech and language therapy or not without having seen them in person and spoken through your specific concerns. If you are worried about your child's talking or communication, please call for a free telephone consultation, and we can discuss what we expect for your child's age and organise an assessment appointment, if required. Please note speech and language therapy is available for free on the NHS.
My two year old is not talking yet, should I be worried?
Although all children develop at their own pace, we expect that by age 2 children should be saying plenty of everyday single words, and be spontaneously joining words together to produce short two word utterances like "mummy sleep" or "baby drink". (This excludes two word phrases we learn as a chunk, like "thank you" - or words the child says when copying). However it's important to remember communication is not all about talking. If you're worried about your child's talking, it can be useful to think about how many words your child understands, and consider their play, interaction and attention and listening skills. These are all foundation skills for talking. If you're concerned, I would be happy to discuss what we expect from children's communication at each age and stage in more detail on the telephone to see if your child might benefit from an appointment.
My child doesn't talk as much as other children in their class. Should I be concerned?
It is always difficult to avoid comparing your child to their peers. Noticing that your child is not talking as much as their peers may be a sign that your child has a language delay or difficulties such as Developmental Language Disorder. If you are concerned, contact your local NHS Speech and Language Therapist or call me for a free telephone consultation. We will be able to discuss in more detail what we expect for your child's age in terms of their communication and offer advice and strategies to support them at home and school.
Can I get speech therapy for free on the NHS?
Yes, all children in the UK who have speech, language and communication needs are eligible for free support from their local NHS service. Criteria can be different depending on where you live, but often parents can make referrals directly (without needing to go via your GP). NHS Speech and Language Therapists often work effectively in collaboration with Independent Speech and Language Therapists, with your permission.
My child's speech is really unclear, how can I help them with their pronunciation?
You can help your child by improving their awareness of the sounds in speech. Try listening out for environmental sounds and the different sounds and properties of speech, for example playing games like 'I spy' and clapping out the beats in words. It's important to always keep activities as fun as possible, so children do not lose their confidence talking. Sometimes children need more specific input to help them with their speech sound difficulties, please contact me to discuss your specific child's speech difficulties in more detail. It can be useful if you keep a list of different sounds or words you've noticed your child struggles with to bring to your first appointment.
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