In a child’s first year alone, there are many changes – physically, emotionally, cognitively and socially. There are also lots of check-ups with your doctor to make sure that these milestones are being met. As far as speech and language is concerned, communication starts way before your child says their first word. But how in the world are you supposed to keep up with all of these milestones?!
Achieving Developmental Milestones
There are many, many resources out there to help you know if your child is meeting all of the appropriate milestones like crawling, walking, talking, etc. I’ve heard from some my families that I work with that they discovered their child’s language was delayed from weekly emails (remember that email you subscribed to that let you know how big your baby was throughout pregnancy? It’ll keep sending updates after they are born, how cool!), their doctor, or they just had a hunch that something wasn’t right.
Here are a few speech and language milestones:
Isn’t it amazing how many changes happen within the first few years of your child’s life? Might just be the nerdy side of me, but I LOVE this!
Finding a Speech Language Pathologist
You discovered that your child isn’t meeting their speech and language milestones and you have a million questions. So now what? First, I want you to know that you did nothing wrong and that everything is going to be okay! There are tons of resources and people out in the world that are willing and able to help your child develop strong speech and language skills. Here are 3 ways to get started with speech therapy.
1) Doctor Referrals
Your pediatrician is someone that you will spend a great deal of time with after your child is born. They are a helpful resource to know if your child is on track to achieve all of their milestones. They also know many local providers… aka speech therapists. Ask them for recommendations!
2) Early Intervention
Another option is to go through the early intervention program in your area. They specialize in supporting families and their children, birth to 3 with a range of disorders and delays. They help you find the right services, whether that is speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc. My favorite part of early intervention services? Therapy is provided in your child’s natural environment. Meaning, therapy is provided at home or in their daycare setting.
3) Classic ‘Google’ Search
The last option you have for starting speech therapy is through a simple ‘google’ search. Yep, that’s right, just google it! For example, I am in Charlotte, North Carolina. So I might search “speech therapy Charlotte, NC.” Likely, you’ll find lots of options. Things to think about as you’re looking at the different options:
- Where is therapy held? At a clinic or my house?
- Do they take insurance, HSA cards or cash?
- What areas of speech and language do they serve (ex: autism, childhood apraxia of speech, feeding difficulties, etc.)?
Starting Speech Therapy
Prior to starting therapy, your child will need to complete an evaluation. But don’t worry! It’s nothing scary, it’s truly just to see what your child’s strengths and weaknesses are. Plus, it leads to therapy which is the best part!
Things to Note
Advocate for your child!
You know what is best.
If you don’t understand why your child isn’t talking or why you can’t understand what they are saying, ASK!
If your child is in therapy, be involved in the therapy process. It is the best way for you to understand what is going on as well as for you to learn how to incorporate these goals throughout your daily lives.
For more information about speech and language milestones, click here.
Want to check out the early intervention program in Mecklenburg Country (Charlotte, NC)? Click here.
Still have questions? Comment below or send a message straight to my inbox! (Contact me)