May is #BetterSpeechandHearingMonth and as speech language pathologists, our greatest passion is serving those with communication disorders. Today, we want to share three helpful tips for parents when it comes to monitoring your child’s speech/language development.
- Follow Your Gut – If you are concerned, listen to your gut! Your gut serves as a signal for many things…one of which is when something is not right. Seek out information from reputable resources, such as the American Speech Language Hearing Association. Early intervention is KEY, so following your gut when you feel something isn’t quite right will greatly benefit your child!
- Get Informed – You are the best person to track your child’s development. Below is a list of resources to help you learn what is expected at each age and stage of communication development. Fill out the checklists and take with you to discuss with your pediatrician. If needed, your pediatrician can make a referral to a speech language pathologist for a formal evaluation.
- Keep Track – Get a checklist and target a 6-month range. We know that children develop and grow in cycles and all at their OWN pace! This is why it’s important to know what to expect but ensure your child is staying within a 6-month range of his/her age. For instance, if your child is 3.0 you should expect them to be mastering skills at a 2.5 year old level and emerging with skills up to a 3.5 year old level.
Here are some trustworthy websites to help you “check in” on your child’s communication development.
- ASHA’s Identify the Signs – handout for communication development at each stage
- CDC’s Developmental Monitoring and Screening – handout that answers questions regarding your child’s development
- Baby Navigator – handout that lists key milestones at each age, along with risks and a self guided screening tool