top of page

5 Signs Your Child May Benefit from Seeing a Speech Therapist

1. Your child is difficult to understand
  • If it is difficult to understand what your child is saying it could be a sign of a speech sound disorder. Speech sound disorders can have a significant impact on children's confidence when interacting with peers and can lead to frustration.

  • A speech therapist can teach your child to produce sounds accurately and regain their confidence with communication.

  • Children with speech sound disorders and/or phonological disorders are at risk for reading difficulties due to deficits in phonological awareness.

2. Your child becomes frustrated when trying to communicate

  • Frustration can look like yelling, screaming, crying, hitting, etc. Frustration often comes from the inability to effectively communicate a child’s wants and needs.

  • A speech therapist can help develop your child’s communication skills to reduce frustrations and tantrums.

  • Some things to try at home:

    • Sign language

    • Picture visuals

    • Model gestures (pointing, hand up for “up”)

3. Your child seems to have a limited vocabulary or has trouble combining words or phrases to create meaning
  • A limited number of words your child uses consistently and meaningfully can be an indicator that your child may need speech therapy.

  • A child's first word should emerge by 12 months and by 18 months they should use over 20 words! Then, by 2 years children should use 50 words and start using a variety of two word phrases!

  • All of our little ones have their own unique timeline with their language development, however, the “wait and see” approach is never the answer and can result in even further delays. An evaluation by a speech and language therapist can provide you with answers to ease your mind.

4. Your child isn’t listening to you
  • When you ask your child a simple question or make clear commands, do they not answer or follow the directions? When you call your child’s name do they not respond by either looking or vocalizing?

  • Often, our children are not purposely ignoring us or not listening, instead they may be having a hard time understanding what you are saying. Therapists refer to these skills as receptive language skills and if they are delayed your child may need speech therapy to focus on building these skills. Toddlers should be able to understand over 300 words and seem to understand new ones each day, therefore, the command, “bring me the ball” or the question “do you want juice?” should be easy to respond to.

5. Your child shows minimal interest in playing with others or engaging in social situations
  • Does your child show minimal interest in playing with other children? When you play social games such as, “peek-a-boo” or “tickles'' does your child tend to be unengaged versus engaging with smiles and laughter?

  • This could be a sign of delayed play or social skills. A speech therapist can help determine if your child is shy or if they may have a delay. Social skills develop at different rates for all children and there are many factors that play a role (i.e. do they regularly see kids outside of the family? Are they an only child?).

  • Always keep in mind that you know your child best and if you see that they’re struggling it’s important to have a professional weigh in.

Does Your Child Need a Speech Evaluation?

If any of the statements listed above sound like your child or if you're unsure of your child's development, getting a speech evaluation can set you on the right road to increasing your child’s speech and language skills. Your child may need extra help but they will succeed. The most important thing for you to do is to take the first step.

Contact us to schedule a free consultation and see if your child could benefit from speech and language therapy services.

Rise Pediatric Speech Therapy, PLLC

Serving Des Moines, IA and surrounding areas


bottom of page