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  • Victoria King Erb

When is the Right Time to Begin Speech Therapy Services?

Speech therapists are frequently asked, how old does my child have to be to start speech therapy services?

The answer is... it depends.

A dad kissing his son on the cheek

It depends on what your concerns are for your child and if those concerns are developmentally appropriate for your child's age.

Are they 12+ months old and still haven't said said their first word yet? Are they 3 years old and speak A LOT but, you can't understand anything they are trying to say? First, our recommendation would be to become familiar with speech and language milestones for children birth to 5 years of age (this is typically the age range when children start speech and language therapy services).

Furthermore, professionals and parents can use speech and language milestones to gauge if their child is developing on track or if they might benefit some extra support. In addition, speech and language milestones help parents ADVOCATE for their child to their child's pediatrician and request for a speech and language evaluation instead of hearing, "Let's just wait and see." By knowing speech and language milestones, parents can help explain to their child's pediatrician to why they need would benefit from an communication skills evaluation completed by a specialist, or speech-language pathologist.

In conclusion, if you see that your child is not yet meeting milestones that are expected to be mastered at their age, this would be the right time to look into speech therapy services. We recommend starting this process as soon as possible because many private speech therapy practices have long waiting lists... some 6-12 months long! These long waiting lists are due to a country-wide shortage of speech therapists.

Here at King Speech Therapy Services, we provide free consultation calls to determine if a full speech and language evaluation is necessary for your child. We are happy to support our community and help parents understand their different options moving forward.


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