Health Matters - "Speech Development and Your Child"

Speech Development and Your Child

By Jean Amodea
Speech and Language pathologist Ruth A. Faye, MS, CCC-SLP, evaluates a child's speec development
Speech and Language pathologist Ruth A. Faye,
MS, CCC-SLP, evaluates a child’s speech development.

It may seem cute to hear a baby coo or vocalize “da-da” early on. However, being mindful of specific milestones in early speech and language development is crucial in ensuring a child is on the path to meeting benchmarks.

In the presence of need, early intervention is critical. Unless deficits are remedied as early as possible, children may not attain age-appropriate speech and language milestones, which can hinder them from successfully reaching pre-school and kindergarten speech and language goals and standards.

Although children develop skills at their own pace, Speech and Language pathologist Ruth A. Faye, MS, CCC-SLP* at NCH Outpatient Rehabilitation, encourages parents and caregivers to note the key indicators below during a child’s early stages of speech development that may signify the need for immediate assessment.

Faye encourages parents and caregivers to speak with their pediatricians if early developmental benchmarks have not been reached, especially when the child has suffered ear infections. A physician referral may then be made to a specialist for an audiological exam and also to a speech language pathologist for speech therapy services.

The speech language pathologist will review the findings, conduct a thorough evaluation, test and observe the child for feeding or sensory issues, and then implement a therapeutic treatment plan. Faye also includes the family in education and the child’s home exercise program so newly learned skills can be applied outside of therapy sessions.

“Parents usually have good instincts. If they feel their child should be doing more in the area of speech development, they should not wait, as the best results can be realized when therapy is started early,” added Faye.
*CCC-SLP Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech- Language Pathology

For more information about NCH Speech
and Language Services, Group Classes and
Support Groups, call (239) 624-1600.

 Past Health Matters

Health Matters is a locally written, quarterly publication on health issues that matter most to our community.  To learn more about Health Matters or the NCH Healthcare System, please contact us by clicking here: Contact Us