It's never too early or too late to start therapy. Children who don't speak at all are usually referred for speech-language evaluations around 18 months of age. However, it's absolutely possible for children to start at an earlier age. Children who are born with a disability usually start therapy when they are babies.
Speech therapists are trained professionals who help children and adults with different speech-related problems. The pediatric speech therapist who completes the evaluation of the young child may recommend speech therapy. You'll spend much of each speech therapy session teaching you how to practice at home—that's because you're your toddler's best teacher. Children who have any type of communication problem are often referred to toddler speech therapists. No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor, speech therapist, or other health professional.
In this post, I'll explain why it's best to start speech therapy early, and it can actually save you time in the long run. FOCUS Therapy offers screening, comprehensive evaluations, and therapy for children in need of speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and ABA therapy in Fort Myers. Milestones are a great way for parents to see how their child is developing for their age, compared to hundreds and thousands of other children their age. The speech therapist will work with you to create a home practice plan that is feasible and fun for you and your child.
You'll want to keep practicing with the same skill that they learn in speech therapy, because the best way to learn is by repeating with the same skill. Speech delays can have several causes, such as oral disability (problems with the tongue or taste), oral motor problems, hearing problems, or a neurological condition, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Your child may simply be slow to develop language skills and could benefit from working with a speech therapist. A speech and language evaluation is a one to two hour consultation with a licensed speech therapist designed to determine if your child needs speech therapy.
Every child has their own developmental journey, so there is a wide variety of what is “expected”, and it's helpful to understand milestones for your child's age. To summarize, the best time to start speech therapy for young children is as soon as you notice a delay or a milestone that hasn't been reached. Starting speech therapy at an early stage can save you time in the long run by reducing the amount of speech therapy you need.