Signs Your Child Might Need to Visit a Speech Pathologist

Have you been worried that your child is having trouble communicating? Are you concerned they aren’t reading or using enough words, or you’re struggling to understand them? 

Speech is an essential form of communication and using speech and language is how we express our needs and understand other people. Speech and language walk hand in hand as a child grows up and learns to talk and interact in a social environment.  

It is important to know that speech and language development will hugely vary between every child, even within the same family. However, there are certain milestones that can be considered in line with normal development.  

General Speech Development Milestones 

The first three years of your child’s life are crucial for speech development. During this period, the brain is developing at the most intense rate and exposing your child to constant sounds, sights and speech is critical.  

  • As an infant, babies will learn to cry for their needs to be met. 
  • By six months, most infants can recognise the basic sounds of their native language. 
  • From six to twelve months, they start to babble and imitate sounds, and from twelve to eighteen months their first words start to appear. 
  • From two, children can start to string sentences together and from three to five years, conversations become longer and more complex. 
  • At the age of five, it is common for a child to have over 2500 words in their vocabulary and talk in complete sentences.  

If you’re noticing any delays or are concerned that your child isn’t reaching these milestones, it may be important to book your child in with one of our speech pathologists.  

We will outline below some of the most common concerns that we find parents come to us about at All About Kids. 

1. Trouble understanding and being understood 

Your child might be experiencing frustration because they cannot understand what others are saying, or because they feel like others cannot understand them. 

2. Lack of gesturing 

If your child isn’t expressing their needs through pointing or waving by 12-17 months, this could be a sign of speech delay.  

3. Stuttering 

Disruptions in their flow of speech, such as repeating sounds or words and getting stuck on certain sounds.  

4. Trouble making certain sounds 

Speech disorders are commonly diagnosed in children who struggle to pronounce b, h, m, p and w sounds from the age of one to two years old, as well as d, f, g, k, n and t from two to three years. 

5. Not babbling at age 4-7 months 

If your baby is very quiet and doesn’t experiment with sounds, especially babbling, then they could be showing signs of speech or language delay. 

6. Not speaking in sentences 

Your child should start stringing sentences together from around the age of 18 months. If you notice your child struggling with this, it could indicate speech delay.  

7. Husky voice 

A hoarse or breathless voice, as well as low volume. 

8. Trouble swallowing or chewing 

This can lead to trouble pronouncing certain sounds and words. One example of a condition that affects swallowing and chewing is Dysphagia and can occur at any age.

9. Coordination and fine motor skill issues

Dyspraxia is a condition that not only affects speech but can also show symptoms affecting motor skills e.g. grabbing toys, picking up blocks, holding a pen properly.


How Will a Speech Pathologist Help My Child? 

If you notice any of these signs in your child’s speech development, you can make an appointment with one of our experienced speech pathologists to discuss your child’s needs further. 

At All About Kids, we work together with you to provide the best support for your family.  Our support can range from providing additional hints and tips for parents, identifying and diagnosing conditions such as Dysphagia and Dyspraxia, to working with your wider health support team.

Our speech pathologists are highly experienced and knowledgeable in finding the best way for your child to communicate to make sure their needs are being met. In each consultation, our team will assess your child, as well as offer strategies to work through at home, school and childcare to improve their communication difficulties. 



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