There are many reasons you might be looking for a pediatric speech therapist near me.
Or maybe you’ve noticed your child isn’t meeting their speech developmental milestones.
It’s normal for parents to be concerned about their child’s development.
Every child is different, and yours may reach their milestones at a different time than other children their age.
They might even be slower to reach milestones than their siblings.
And while that doesn’t necessarily mean there is anything wrong with your child, it could indicate that they need some help with their speech.
In fact, even if they’re very young, your child may benefit from early intervention speech therapy.
Read on to learn more about when the best age is to start speech therapy for your child.
Why Speech Development Milestones Are Important
Speech milestones are important for your child’s development.
Paying attention to when and whether they reach their speech milestones can undercover developmental problems in your child.
If your child isn’t meeting their speech milestones quite at the rate of other children, there’s no need to panic.
Some children develop faster or slower in certain areas.
However, if they’re falling far behind their peers or if they show other strange symptoms or behaviors, it might be time to have their speech development assessed by a professional.
When Should You Seek Out A Speech Therapist?
If you notice your child isn’t meeting their milestones, contact us here at District Speech to book an appointment as soon as possible.
It might feel a little scary as a parent to send your child to speech therapy.
But your child’s speech therapist is the best person to assess if your child truly is falling behind and what they may need to catch up again.
Once your child has been assessed, they’ll be able to work on their speech development in a fun, child friendly environment.
It’s important to remember that assessment and developing a treatment plan take time.
This means that there will be a delay between when you notice speech problems in your child and when your child’s speech therapist is actually able to begin treating them.
The sooner you contact a speech therapist after noticing your child is struggling to meet milestones, the sooner your child’s speech therapist will be able to start working with your child.
What If I Wait To See If They Catch Up To Their Speech Development Milestones?
It’s common for parents to want to wait and see if their child catches up.
You might be concerned about placing labels on your child, or worried that attending speech therapy will make them feel different from their peers.
Or maybe you’re just not sure that speech therapy will work, especially if your child is quite young.
The thing is, if you wait to seek intervention, your child may actually fall further behind and feel even more different than their peers.
The sooner you seek intervention, the sooner your child can catch up.
When your child is young, they haven’t had as much time to develop poor speech habits related to their disorder.
This means that it’s easier to correct the poor habits they have developed.
It’s also possible to work on preventing bad habits before they start.
Early intervention tends to provide more effective results.
The longer you wait, the more their bad speech habits will increase, rather than good speech habits.
There are also many different forms of early intervention speech therapy, and your child’s speech therapist can work with you to use strategies that best suit your child’s needs, interests, and personality.
What’s The Youngest You Can Start Speech Therapy?
It might surprise you to learn that babies as young as six months old can actually benefit from speech therapy.
Even by early intervention standards, though, six months is early.
Often, children will start speech therapy between the ages of one and three years old.
The majority of speech issues develop when your child is between eighteen months and two years old, but it’s always a good idea to contact a speech therapist sooner than that if you have any concerns.
But how can speech therapists help your child with speech issues before they can speak much at all?
In the early years, your child’s speech therapist will look at how they communicate, rather than how they pronounce and articulate words.
Communication includes the number of words they’ve developed, but also how they respond when you speak to them, and what gestures and body language they use to communicate.
Intervening before your child starts speaking can actually be a great way to minimize the developmental impact of a speech disorder.
Book Your Appointment With District Speech Today
Remember, if you’re concerned about your child’s speech milestones, we’re here to help.
The sooner your child gets treatment, the sooner they’ll be able to catch up with their peers.
We’re District Speech in Washington DC, and we can help.
1300 I St NW, #400E,
Washington, DC 20005
District Speech and Language Therapy specializes in speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy solutions, for both children and adults, in the Washington D.C and the Arlington Virginia areas.