Young children should start speech therapy as soon as a delay or difficulty is identified; it's never too late or too early to start. Starting now can improve their speech and language skills so that they can continue to achieve their communication milestones. For example, children who are about one and a half years old can say more than 20 words, and children between 1.5 and 2 years old can say more than 50 words. Anything less than that is a bit of a concern and requires the attention of a therapist.
A young child should start speech therapy any time after 3 months if they experience delays in speech or language development. This may seem rare, but a speech therapist can monitor the signs if there's a delay. Early intervention can have an impact. For example, some children have difficulty pronouncing certain letters or words, so their parents choose speech therapy for young children.
Delays in speech or language can occur due to problems in the structures of the mouth, head injuries, chronic diseases, or brain disorders. A person with a speech disorder may have difficulty correctly producing speech sounds, omitting, connecting, or distorting the sounds and processes used to produce speech correctly. If you're struggling to find ways to practice your child's speaking at home, check out the video above for some ideas. As soon as you notice something strange, see a speech therapist to help you change it before it's too late.
If your toddler has a delay in language or speech, talk to your child's healthcare provider. This post looks at milestones, why they're important, what to do if your child doesn't meet them, and how to know if it's time to use speech therapy. However, as speech therapists with more than 22 years of experience under our belt, we can assure you that it's really just about gathering information and learning about your child. The sessions usually last about half an hour and correcting a difference in speech can take between 15 and 20 hours.
The best age for speech therapy is the age when your child begins to fall behind schedule or when you notice that you are not meeting milestones. If your child is receiving speech therapy, it's helpful to do the exercises prescribed by the speech therapist at home. Knowing when to seek help from a speech-language pathologist (SLP) can make the difference between a satisfying or frustrating educational experience.