Each time you bring your child to the doctor for a well visit, the doctor will ask you how many words your child says. By the time your child is two years old, he or she should be saying around 50 words. If your child is only saying a couple words by this age, the doctor may recommend having the child evaluated by a speech therapist. Here is what you should expect from an initial consultation with a speech therapist.
You must fill out paperwork
First of all, there may be a lot of paperwork for you to fill out. This may include filling out forms that state the child's medical history and any problems you notice with the child. The therapist may come to your home to do this meeting, or you might have to go to a clinic. In many cases, evaluations are done in the child's home simply because this offers a comfortable atmosphere for the child, and this may encourage the child to speak more.
The evaluation involves basic communication
During the evaluation, the therapist will spend time talking to your child and playing with him or her. The therapist will try to encourage the child to repeat words or hold conversations with him or her. The therapist may play a game with the child or might simply play with a variety of different toys.
While this is done, the therapist will be making notes about the child's speech. This may include the number of words the child says. It may also include sounds the child cannot say. In all, this evaluation is likely to take only around 20 minutes or so.
The evaluation determines the next step
Depending on what the speech therapist sees and experiences with your child, he or she might recommend pursuing speech therapy or waiting. If the child is right on the border with his or her speech, waiting a month or two can be all that is needed. Some kids just develop more slowly than others, and giving a child extra time will often help.
If the child needs therapy for his or her speech, the therapist will let you know. The therapist will create a schedule for the therapy and will let you know exactly how it will work.
If you have concerns with your child's speech and do not want to wait for the child's next well visit, schedule a visit with a pediatrician today.