“My son’s preschool teachers have suggested he see a speech pathologist.  Some of his words aren’t very clear and not everyone understands him, but he’s only four.  Won’t the sounds just correct themselves?  Isn’t he too young for therapy?”

This is a very common question we get asked at Early Start.  It is sometimes a tricky one to answer without hearing the child speak.  The easiest answer, is that you’re never too young to start therapy – if it’s needed – as research suggest that Early Intervention has the strongest outcomes. Does he need therapy?  It really depends on what errors your child is making and how much it’s impacting him socially and academically.  Most children follow a typical pattern of speech sound development.  All children make errors as their sound system develops.  It’s cute to hear a 2 year old say “wabbit” but it’s concerning if a 6 year old is still saying “wabbit”.

Most speech sounds are developed by 4 – 4.5 years, with the exception of some sounds (r & th).  If your child is not easily understood by others from 3.5 years on, it might be time to see a speech pathologist.

It is important for a child to receive assessment and intervention by a speech pathologist if they are having difficulty saying certain words as research has shown a clear link between speech sound disorders and slower literacy development.

Early Start Speech Pathologists in Newcastle are highly trained and experienced in all evidence based techniques and practices for speech sound disorders.  Early Start’s therapists use techniques such as cued articulation, minimal and maximal pairs, cycles and Prompt techniques.  Early Start offers weekly sessions to help your child reach their communicative potential.

Speech - Michelle with client