Before we get to delayed speech and what you can do at home, let's do a quick review...
People tend to use speech and language interchangeably but they are quite different!
This is a very SIMPLE explanation for a complicated process; however, it is important to know if your child has difficulty with speech or language. For more information, you can check out our speech and language page.
On this page, we are going to discuss speech.
If you are asking yourself this question, the best advice I can give is to seek out an evaluation. Why not? There is no harm and it is ALWAYS better to know that not to know! You can start by asking:
An evaluation is also critical because if your child does has delayed speech, your speech therapist with methodically choose what sounds to work on first and give you the best verbal, tactile, and/or visual cues to work on such sounds at home. Therapy always goes much faster when you use your child's own strategies at home.
For more information on what your child should be able to say, review child speech development.
If your child is already in therapy for delayed speech, then it is your job to practice their sounds at home daily!!!! This may sound like a lot but it can be simple. These are my favorite tips that I give all parents:
Again, check with your speech therapist for tips! Usually, speech practices follows this order:
For most of my students, I suggest lots of drill practice at first. This is necessary to learn how to say a sound.
Next, I have parents jump down to practicing target sounds which their child has already mastered in therapy during games and/or conversation. This way, he/she can carry over progress.
It is proven that a child needs to practice their new sounds across different environments before it will become a automatic/habit...aka no more speech therapy!
Here at speech therapy talk, we have a membership program that is designed specifically for children with delayed speech. It reviews how to say each sound, how to teach your child each sound, and then walks you though each practice stage. For more information, click Speech Therapy Talk Membership!