Is your toddler having a difficult time reaching language milestones? As he or she gets older, you may have noticed your child is a bit behind and is unable to pronounce many words and phrases. You may wonder if there are certain things you should do to help your child with his or her speech. There are some children who simply have a harder time with speaking, but there are a number of things you can do to help your little one out.
Address Your Concerns With the Pediatrician
Start by talking to your child's pediatrician about your concerns. The pediatrician may be concerned if your child isn't reaching language milestones. The pediatrician would be able to provide a recommendation for you to take your child to see a speech pathologist who has more experience with the development of language and the different disorders that prevent some children from learning the language as quickly as others.
See a Speech Pathologist For a Diagnosis and Treatment
Once you've received a referral, make an appointment to have your child evaluated by a speech pathologist. The speech pathologist should be able to identify different issues some children have, such as low muscle tone or verbal apraxia. Some children have mild cases of verbal apraxia while others have more severe cases. If it's something your child has, the speech pathologist would likely tell you how severe the case is before moving forward with different treatment recommendations.
In most instances, speech therapy is recommended. During speech therapy sessions, your child will go over assorted sounds and words with a speech pathologist. The goal may be to teach your child how to move his or her lips and tongue to produce certain sounds before working on getting your little one to say words and phrases. Progress often takes time, but speech therapy is beneficial for children who are behind in the language department.
If the speech pathologist believes there are other underlying conditions causing the speech delay, such as autism, he or she may recommend taking your child to see a neurologist. A neurologist would evaluate your child and then provide a diagnosis based on the findings of the evaluation. Even if a child is a diagnosed with autism, speech therapy would likely be recommended.
Some children experience speech delays. If you're concerned that your child isn't reaching language milestones and is falling behind, speak to your pediatrician and then take your child to visit with a speech pathologist. It's possible that your little one has an underlying condition causing the delay in the first place. And, in that case, different types of treatment would be recommended.
Contact a medical office like Eastern Carolina Ear Nose & Throat-Head for more information and assistance.