When you have a young child, and you’re concerned about their speech or language development you might go to your GP, or Public Health Nurse or friend and say “What do you think?”
Often, parents are told to “Wait and See” or just give the child “a little bit of time to catch up”. They might say “Come back in half a year”, “Come back in a year and lets check it then.”
The problem with the ‘Wait and See’ is if your child does have, even a mild speech and language delay. That six months to a year that you’ve waited might make it a little bit harder for them to improve on their speech and language than if you had given them the Early intervention they could have gotten a little bit earlier.
That being said, if your child does have some more significant speech and language needs and you’ve decided that you want to get them on the Assessment of Need, or you want to refer them for Speech and Language therapy. That time that you’ve taken, will be added onto the waitlist that you will then be added to. So, if a waitlist is eighteen months long, and you’ve just waited twelve months to get on it, you’re then waiting two and a half years to be seen for an assessment.
So, it makes more sense, to err on the side of caution and contact a Speech and Language Therapist as soon as you’re concerned about your child’s speech and language development. Many HSE services offer clinics, from a Speech and Language Therapist so you can ring them and ask if they have such a clinic or you can contact an Independent Speech and Language Therapy service (such as us!). You would then have a consultation once off to see if further investigation is necessary.
We also have a detailed article on our site HERE, which covers the childhood language milestones from 0-7 years. It also has a short checklist at the end which you can take. If you tick any of the boxes, then it is likely that your child would benefit from at least a screening consultation with a qualified Speech and Language Therapist.
If your child doesn’t tick anything on the checklist, but you are still worried –
always go with your gut and contact a Speech and Language Therapist!
At the very least, he or she will put your mind at ease. In the other case, they will help identify something that may require future intervention, and that’s best done asap.
So please, do err on the side of caution and contact a Speech and Language Therapist, who is the professional who knows most about speech and language development.
Is my child’s speech delayed?
(Article with language milestones 0-7yrs)
Independent Speech-Language Therapists in Ireland
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