Childhood Speech Development – Identifying Issues

The fact that all kids grow, learn and progress at wholly different rates often makes it difficult to know what represents their normal development process and what constitutes a genuine developmental problem. This is particularly the case when it comes to their speech and language development as it’s very rare for any two kids to follow even remotely the same pattern when learning and refining their early language skills. Some seem to flourish, others take much longer to make real progress and then there are those that seem not to be progressing and then suddenly come out of nowhere to take a huge leap.

This is precisely why the UK’s best speech therapy providers are inundated with questions and queries from concerned parents day in and day out, who wonder when and where the time comes to call in the specialists. Or to put it more specifically, wondering how it’s possible to identify a speech problem before giving it chance to get any worse.

Childhood Speech Development – Identifying Issues

Well, the good news is that there’s technically no ‘wrong’ time to seek professional help as nipping these kinds of problems in the bud is always the best way of going about things. In order to make sure this is the case, parents are advised to follow a few simple guidelines and to never be afraid to ask for advice if even the slightest bit concerned.

Healthy Interaction

For example, there’s really nothing in the world that’s more important and genuinely beneficial than the time and attention a parent dedicates to a child. Not only does constant and healthy interaction help greatly with the child’s development, but it also gives the parent the best possible insight in the child’s progress and where any problems may be manifesting. There is however a big difference between simply being in the same room with a child for all hours of the day and giving them your full time and attention – the latter meaning that you not only talk to and hear them, but actively encourage speech at every opportunity and listen to what they have to say…or are at least trying to say.

Warning Signs

As far as picking up on the warning signs goes, this is where things get a little tricky as no two children are the same. What’s more, in the vast majority of cases it is of course wholly common for younger children to stutter a little while trying to get their words out, or to find it very difficult to make certain sounds when first getting to grips with new words and general communication styles. As such, it’s a case of trying to avoid knee-jerk reactions at the very first sign of something that doesn’t appear ‘normal’ and instead monitoring progress. Or in other words, if they seem to be having any kinds of specific troubles that don’t seem to be improving at all, this could signify a problem.

Suffering in Silence

Another point to be aware of is the fact that when a child is struggling with speech and language development, there’s a very strong chance they will retreat into their shell and avoid speaking when and where possible. For reasons of frustration and in some cases embarrassment, a child may actively avoid speaking to adults and instead rely primarily on gestures and sounds. If this appears to be the case, it could be that there’s a problem with their speech development that’s doing a number on their confidence. So along with paying attention to what they say and how they say it, don’t forget to take note of what they don’t say.

Calling For Help

In terms of when it’s right or necessary to call in the professionals, there’s technically no such thing as too early a stage to seek help. While speech and language professionals are of course there to step in when and where there’s a problem to address, it’s also a huge part of their job to offer help, guidance and friendly reassurance for all parents in need of a few pointers. As such, even if you are 99% convinced that all is going as it should be but just have that tiny 1% doubt in your mind, this is more than enough reason to consider speaking to a pro for a few tips.

If there is a problem, then it will be addressed as promptly as possible, while if there is no problem there at all, the result will be peace of mind for you and the whole family that’s simply too valuable to put a price on.