How to Find a Pediatric Speech Therapist: A Complete Guide
Parenting doesn’t come with an instruction manual, and many parents have questions about what is normal when it comes to developmental milestones. Some may not know where to start, or you might be wondering, how to find a pediatric speech therapist near me, for your child.
Are you worried your child is experiencing a developmental delay when it comes to crawling, walking or talking? Have you noticed your toddler seems to struggle with making eye contact, playing with toys or asking for things? If so, it’s time to seek out a pediatric speech therapist near you. In the Ivy Rehab Network, we have tons of locations in your area that offer pediatric speech therapy. You can view them all here, and even book online to begin connecting with speech-language pathologists.
Children go through many stages of development from birth to 3 years old. In terms of speech and language, development usually follows a pattern in which certain milestones, or language skills, emerge by a certain age. While there are typical expectations of what is normal, some children develop quicker or slower than others.
A speech therapist for kids will look for developmental milestones or potential language delays before deciding if a child needs to move forward with speech-language pathology treatment.
Here are some of the speech and language milestones a typically developing child should reach by specific ages:
Language Development at 1-year-old
- Babbles, using a variety of different syllables (ex. “badugatadudah”)
- Begins to use approximations of first words (ex. “wawa” for water)
- Uses non-verbal communication to make requests (ex. pointing, waving)
- Overall speech is mostly incomprehensible “gibberish”
- Uses receptive language to respond to simple phrases such as “no,” “come here” or “want more?”
- Recognizes your voice, other sounds, and points or looks toward an object
- Relates words to actual objects (ex. understands the word “ball” means the object ball)
- Listens when spoken to
- Enjoys games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake
- Does not point to objects
- Does not use gestures (ex. waving)
Language Development at 2 years old
- Says 10-15 words by 18 months; 40-50 words at 24 months
- Puts two words together (“more juice” or “car go”) and asks one- or two-word questions (“Where doggy?” and “Go bye-bye?”)
- Uses many different consonant sounds at the beginning of words
- Overall speech is about 50% understandable
- Uses receptive language and points to pictures in a book when an object is named (“Where is the dog?”)
- Responds to simple questions (“Where’s your shoe?”)
- Follows a few simple commands, requiring gestures at times
- Listens to simple stories, songs, and rhymes
- Has a vocabulary fewer than 30 words
- Doesn’t show much interest in social interactions
Language Development at 3 years old
- Uses expressive language, such as two or three-word phrases to talk or ask about things, and will often name objects to direct attention
- Vocabulary of 300-400 words; has a word for almost everything
- Overall speech is about 75% understandable
- Follows two-step directions (“Get the ball and put it on the table”)
- Comprehension is rapidly increasing
- Understands differences in meaning (go/stop, big/little, up/down)
These are some general guidelines parents should look for to decide if further evaluation by a speech pathologist may be warranted. Just because your child has not accomplished one skill by the specified age, it does not automatically mean the child has a major speech delay or language problem. In fact, each patient is unique, and speech therapy duration and frequency will vary based on your child’s development and language skills.
How to find a speech therapist for my child.
Ivy Rehab Network offers a variety of speech therapy services run by professional speech-language pathologists. To answer how to find speech therapy near me, you can use the convenient location tracker from our website. This way, you’ll be sure to discover speech therapy services nearest you.
Early Intervention With Speech Therapy
There are many causes of speech and language delays. The good news is the sooner the delay is discovered and diagnosed, the sooner speech therapy can start. Children enrolled in pediatric speech therapy before they are 5 years old typically have better outcomes.
You should discuss any concerns with your child’s pediatrician or an Ivy Rehab licensed speech-language pathologist. They can determine whether a screening or formal speech and language evaluation are in order, and develop a treatment plan to get your child’s speech and language up to speed. Ivy’s pediatric speech-language therapy can help with feeding, communication, articulation, voice, fluency, and cognitive function.