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  • Are my child's speech and language skills  "normal" for their age? How do I know if my child needs speech therapy?"
    Every child is unique, and there is no "normal" but rather a range of expected skills by age. The American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) has provided the following guidelines for speech and language development from birth through 5 years of age. What should my child be able to do? Birth–3 Months Startles at loud sounds. Quiets or smiles when you talk. Seems to recognize your voice. Quiets if crying. Makes cooing sounds. Cries change for different needs. Smiles at people. 4–6 Months Moves her eyes in the direction of sounds. Responds to changes in your tone of voice. Notices toys that make sounds. Pays attention to music. Coos and babbles when playing alone or with you. Makes speech-like babbling sounds, like pa, ba, and mi. Giggles and laughs. Makes sounds when happy or upset. 7 Months–1 Year Turns and looks in the direction of sounds. Looks when you point. Turns when you call her name. Understands words for common items and people—words like cup, truck, juice, and daddy. Starts to respond to simple words and phrases, like “No,” “Come here,” and “Want more?” Plays games with you, like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake. Listens to songs and stories for a short time. Babbles long strings of sounds, like mimi upup babababa. Uses sounds and gestures to get and keep attention. Points to objects and shows them to others. Uses gestures like waving bye, reaching for “up,” and shaking his head no. Imitates different speech sounds. Says 1 or 2 words, like hi, dog, dada, mama, or uh-oh. This will happen around his first birthday, but sounds may not be clear. 1-2 years Points to a few body parts when you ask. Follows 1-part directions, like "Roll the ball" or "Kiss the baby." Responds to simple questions, like “Who’s that?” or “Where’s your shoe?” Listens to simple stories, songs, and rhymes. Points to pictures in a book when you name them. Uses a lot of new words. Uses p, b, m, h, and w in words. Starts to name pictures in books. Asks questions, like “What's that?”, “Who’s that?”, and “Where’s kitty?” Puts 2 words together, like "more apple," "no bed," and "mommy book." What can I do to help? 2-3 years Responds when you call from another room. Understands words for some colors, like red, blue, and green. Understands words for some shapes, like circle and square. Understands words for family, like brother, grandmother, 3-4 years Answers simple who, what, and where questions. Says rhyming words, like hat–cat. Uses pronouns, like I, you, me, we, and they. Uses some plural words, like toys, birds, and buses. Most people understand what your child says. Asks when and how questions. Puts 4 words together. May make some mistakes, like “I goed to school.” Talks about what happened during the day. Uses about 4 sentences at a time. 4-5 years Understands words for order, like first, next, and last. Understands words for time, like yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Follows longer directions, like “Put your pajamas on, brush your teeth, and then pick out a book.” Follows classroom directions, like “Draw a circle on your paper around something you eat.” Hears and understands most of what she hears at home and in school. Says all speech sounds in words. May make mistakes on sounds that are harder to say, like l, s, r, v, z, ch, sh, and th. Responds to “What did you say?” Talks without repeating sounds or words most of the time. Names letters and numbers. Uses sentences that have more than 1 action word, like jump, play, and get. May make some mistakes, like “Zach gots 2 video games, but I got one.” Tells a short story. Keeps a conversation going. Talks in different ways, depending on the listener and place. Your child may use short sentences with younger children. He may talk louder outside than inside. * “How Does Your Child Hear and Talk?” American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Web. 14 Mar. 2015 If you have specific questions or concerns with your child's communication skills, please call us for a FREE 15-minute phone consultation.
  • What are the advantages of home-based therapy versus clinic-based therapy?
    Speech Therapy services that are provided in the home allow the child to participate in sessions in the environment that they are most comfortable being in. This allows the child to feel at ease, and to be able to focus on learning new skills. The Speech Language Pathologist and the parents are able to collaborate more and the parents can often be part of the session. Generalization of new skills is easier for the child because these skills are being practiced in the natural environement. Home-based services allow for more flexible scheduling, and negate the need for parents to drive to and from the therapy clinic.
  • How long will my child need Speech Therapy services?
    A child's speech and language skill development is affected by multiple factors including the severity of the speech and language disorder, the child's willingness to participate in session activities, frequency of sessions, and home practice of the targeted skills. In general, you can expect that your child will need to receive speech language therapy services 1-2 times per week for up to 6 months . After this period of time, many children have achieved their targeted goals and are able to be dismissed. Other children may need a longer period of therapy to meet their goals. The therapist will provide recommendations for frequency and duration of speech and language therapy services following the child's initial evaluation.
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