By Nicole Fabian-Weber
While some children attain their milestones at the right time, some experience delay and a few may never reach their milestones without some interventions. As the saying goes, “a stitch in time saves nine,” therefore, seeking for help early when you notice there’s a problem with your child’s speech could save the day. Here are a few signs or indicators that you child may be needing an intervention.
1. Your Child Doesn’t Interact Socially.
If your baby isn’t smiling or interacting with others from infancy to 3 months of age, it could be a red flag for a speech or language disorder. Other early social interaction signs to look out for:
Your infant doesn’t babble (bewteen 4 and 7 months).
Your baby makes only a few sounds or gestures, like pointing (between 7 and 12 months).
Your infant doesn’t seem to understand what you or others are saying (between 7 months and 2 years old).
2. Your Toddler Makes Only a Few Sounds, Words, or Gestures (12 to 18 months).
“Most kids are starting to say a few single words between a year and 18 months,” says Paul. “Between 1 1/2 and 2, they’re typically putting words together.” If your child isn’t saying anything, or has an extremely limited repertoire of words, he or she may have a speech disorder.
3. You (and Others) Can’t Understand What Your Child Is Saying (18 months to 2 years).
It isn’t uncommon for moms and dads to be the only people who understand what their toddler is saying, but between 18 months and 2 years, parents shouldn’t have too much difficulty deciphering what their child is saying. “Speech should be clear to a familiar listener at this point,” says Paul.
4. Your Child Hasn’t Started to Combine 2 or More Words Together By the Age of 2.
Usually, children begin combining two or more words together to make “sentences” at about 18 months: “My ball.” “Come Mama.” If between the ages of 1 1/2 and 3, children aren’t pairing two or more words with one another, parents may want to consult an expert.
5. Your Child Struggles to Make Sounds or Say Words (2 1/2 to 4 years).
Some sounds are harder to pronounce than others. For instance, a “K” or a “G” sound doesn’t roll off the tongue for an 18-month-old (or even some 2-year-olds). “Easier sounds, like ‘P,’ ‘B,’ and ‘M,’ shouldn’t be a problem for children after the age of 2,” notes Paul. If your 2 1/2-year-old is still having trouble with “easier” sounds, or your 3- to 4-year-old is having trouble with “harder” sounds, consider it a red flag.