Speech and Language Therapy

  Therapy Facilities

  • Speech Therapy
  • Language Therapy
  • Cognition Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Behaviors Modifications
  • Special Education
  • Dietary Intervention
  • Vestibular Rehabilitation
  • Auditory Verbal Therapy for Hearing Impaired

When a person is unable to produce speech correctly or fluently, or has problems with his or her voice, then he or she has a speech disorder. Difficulties pronouncing sounds, or articulation disorders, and stuttering are examples of speech disorder.

When a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas and feelings completely (expressive language), then he or she has a language disorder.

How can you tell if your child’s speech and language development is on track?
If your child is not on track with the following speech/language development milestones, you should talk to your pediatrician.

Age Language Label
Birth Cries
2-3 months Cries differently in different circumstances; coos in response to you
3-4 monthsBabbles randomly
5-6 months Babbles rhythmically
6-11 monthsBabbles in imitation of real speech, with expression
12 monthsSays 1-2 words; recognizes name; imitates familiar sounds; understands simple instructions
18 months Uses 5-20 words, including names
Between 1 and 2 years Says 2-word sentences; vocabulary is growing; waves goodbye; makes “sounds” of familiar animals; uses words (like “more”) to make wants known; understands “no”
Between 2 and 3 years Identifies body parts; calls self “me” instead of name; combines nouns and verbs; has a 450 word vocabulary; uses short sentences; matches 3-4 colors, knows big and little; likes to hear same story repeated; forms some plurals
Between 3 and 4 years Can tell a story; sentence length of 4-5 words; vocabulary of about 1000 words; knows last name, name of street, several nursery rhymes
Between 4 and 5 yearsSentence length of 4-5 words; uses past tense; vocabulary of about 1500 words; identifies colors, shapes; asks many questions like “why?” and “who?”
Between 5 and 6 yearsSentence length of 5-6 words; vocabulary of about 2000 words; can tell you what objects are made of; knows spatial relations (like “on top” and “far”); knows address; understands same and different; identifies a penny, nickel and dime; counts ten things; knows right and left hand; uses all types of sentences

If your child is not meeting these milestones, the first step is to get their hearing checked. Even if they seem to hear just fine, kids are experts at picking up visual cues to get by. It’s important to catch hearing loss early, so that treatment begins as soon as possible.

What causes speech and language problems?
Developmental speech and language disorder is a common reason for speech/language problems in kids. This is a learning disability that is caused by the brain working differently. These kids may have trouble producing speech sounds, using spoken language to communicate, or understanding what other people say. Speech and language problems are often the earliest sign of a learning disability. Find out more about language-based learning disabilities.
Hearing loss is often overlooked, and easily identified. If your child is speech/language delayed, their hearing should be tested.
Intellectual disability is a common cause of speech and language delay.
Extreme environmental deprivation can cause speech delay. If a child is neglected or abused and does not hear others speaking, they will not learn to speak.
Prematurity can lead to many kinds of developmental delays, including speech/language problems.
Auditory Processing Disorder describes a problem with decoding speech sounds. These kids can improve with speech and language therapy
Neurological problems like cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and traumatic brain injury can affect the muscles needed for speaking.
Autism affects communication. Speech/language/communication problems are often an early sign of autism. Find out more: Autism and Communication.
Structural problems like cleft lip or cleft palate can interfere with normal speech. More on speech development and cleft palate.
Apraxia of speech is a specific speech disorder in which the child has difficulty in sequencing and executing speech movements.
Selective mutism is when a child will not talk at all in certain situations, often school.

Here are some parenting tips for helping along your child’s speech and language:
Start talking to your child at birth. Even newborns benefit from hearing speech.
Respond to your baby’s coos and babbling.
Play simple games with your baby like peek-a-boo and patty-cake.
Listen to your child. Look at them when they talk to you. Give them time to respond. (It feels like an eternity, but count to 5—or even 10—before filling the silence).
Describe for your child what they are doing, feeling and hearing in the course of the day.
Encourage storytelling and sharing information.
Don’t try to force your child to speak.
Read books aloud. Ask a librarian for books appropriate to your child’s age. If your baby loses interest in the text, just talk about the pictures.
Sing to your child and provide them with music. Learning new songs helps your child learn new words, and uses memory skills, listening skills, and expression of ideas with words.
Expand on what your child says. (For example, if your child says, “Elmo!”, you can say, “You want Elmo!”)
Talk a lot to your child. Tell them what you are doing as you do it
Plan family trips and outings. Your new experiences give you something interesting to talk about before, during, and after the outing.
Look at family photos and talk about them.
Answer your child every time they speak—this rewards them for talking.
Ask your child lots of questions.
Use gestures along with words.
Don’t criticize grammar mistakes. Instead, just model good grammar.
Play with your child one-on-one, and talk about the toys and games you are playing.
Follow your child’s lead, so you are doing activities that hold their interest as you talk.
Have your child play with kids whose language is a little better than theirs.