When should I contact a speech therapist?

Speech therapist is a specialist who deals with the elimination of all kinds of speech defects. But how to understand whether to appeal to him, or the child speaks normally for his age? Learn this so that your child's speech is correct.

Why is speech broken?

The causes of speech disorders in a child can be very diverse. These are pathological development of pregnancy and complications arising during gestation, birth trauma, hearing impairment, hereditary predisposition, abnormal bite and anomalies of the maxillofacial apparatus, long and constant sucking of the finger, nipples or other objects, lack of attention, so-called pedagogical neglect do not participate in the development of the child), congenital, infectious or traumatic lesions of the parts of the brain responsible for speech and so on.

It is important to know! The earlier the causes of violations have been identified, the greater the chance of normal speech recovery.

When should I turn to a specialist?

There is no strictly certain age at which you need to visit a speech therapist. Firstly, the child's speech begins to develop from 4-6 months, when the crumb makes the first sounds, albeit incomprehensible, but very important. Secondly, deviations can occur at any age, and suddenly. And even if the baby spoke normally, this does not mean that everything will be so in the future. Thirdly, speech disorders can provoke some health problems that are not related to the speech apparatus. And to identify some of them in the early stages is sometimes difficult. Below will be considered cases in which an appeal to a specialist is necessary.

Obvious speech disorders

So, when and at what age should you contact a speech therapist? The table describes the violations that occur in different periods of growth and development of the child, in which the help of a specialist is needed.

Child's age Violations
Starting from 5-7 months to a year The kid does not walk, does not make any sounds, does not respond to his name and address him, closer to the year does not repeat simple syllables.
From year to year and a half The child does not repeat or say simple words from one syllable (“woman”, “mother”, “uncle”, “father”) or does not speak at all.
1.5-2 years The kid is silent, does not show interest in the speech of adults, he explains his desires and needs with gestures, lowing or simple sounds.
2.5 years The child does not speak phrases from two words (albeit simplified and somewhat modified), does not fulfill simple requests, such as “bring a toy”, “come here”.
3 years The child suddenly spoke after a long silence, but most of the words are spoken incorrectly or, in general, “babbling” in their own language. A baby cannot correctly reproduce simple rhythmic syllables (“knock-knock, knock-knock, knock-knock”), does not perform articulation movements (does not stick out the tongue, does not fold lips with a straw, does not delay the smile for five seconds), often replaces words with gestures when communicating, does not fulfill simple requests consisting of three parts (“come here, take the ball and bring it to me”). Caution should be increased salivation during attempts to talk.
3-3,5 years The kid continues to simplify the spoken words, does not incline them, does not distinguish sounds in words with similar sounding (rat and roof, kidney and barrel).
4-5 years The child speaks indistinctly, his speech is blurred, many sounds are pronounced incorrectly, the baby does not know how to connect words and build sentences, does not strive for communication, rarely speaks, does not say anything.
School age (6-8 years). The child does not reproduce the letters, syllables and words spoken by the teacher, cannot repeat long words, does not answer the questions asked, skips letters and especially syllables and parts of words during writing, has difficulties in retelling, reading and learning poems.

Tip: Speech correction should begin as early as possible, as it is much easier to help a small child than an adult.

Pathologies that violate speech and require treatment to a speech therapist

In childhood, regular visits are required not only to the pediatrician, but also to narrow specialists who can identify abnormalities in the early stages and help eliminate them. And some violations can change speech. Consider a few such cases:

  1. The surgeon found that the bridle is very short, and advised to prune it. With such a defect, the tip of the tongue does not reach the palate when the mouth is open, which prevents certain sounds from being clearly and correctly pronounced.
  2. An otolaryngologist diagnosed hearing loss. If the baby does not hear well, he will not be able to correctly perceive, process and reproduce sounds.
  3. The dentist noticed an incorrect bite or growth of teeth (both indigenous and dairy), as well as abnormalities of the jaw structure.
  4. There are congenital defects: cleft in the palate, “cleft lip”, “wolf's mouth”.

Disturbing symptoms

There are some signs indicating that speech requires correction. Parents should pay attention to such moments:

  • It is difficult for a child to keep up with his thoughts, he is as if choking with words.
  • The kid sometimes "swallows" some syllables.
  • There is not enough breath to utter a phrase or a short sentence, a breath is taken during a conversation, which is like a sob.
  • The child says "in the nose", but at the same time there is no cold and no cold.
  • There is no desire to communicate, the desire to describe what he saw or heard verbally.
  • The child speaks inexpressively, monotonously.

How can you help your child by yourself?

Some exercises can be performed with the child at home:

  1. Talk and communicate with your child more often, tell him something, ask to answer, repeat words, describe what is happening. Correctly and gently correct the mistakes.
  2. Read to your child more, for example, stories, fairy tales, simple nursery rhymes.
  3. Regularly arrange articulation exercises. The speech therapist can advise on the exercises, but you can just do simple movements together: stick out the tongue, touch the palate and cheeks,hold it between your teeth and at the same time release the air, open your mouth wide, smile and freeze in that position for a few seconds, put your lips together in a straw.
  4. Be sure to develop fine motor skills, because it stimulates the development of speech.


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