HomeArticlesDoes My Child Need Speech Therapy?

Does My Child Need Speech Therapy?

Signs to look for and what you can do to help
Answers by Hilary Hopper MS, CCC-SLP

There can be several instances in which a child might qualify and benefit from speech services.

Hilary Hopper, Speech Pathologist, mom, and owner of Show and Tell Speech Therapy, provided some insight into commonly asked questions when it comes to speech disorders.
Hilary has been working in the speech world for over 10 years and has a special interest in helping children with Autism, Motor Speech Disorders such as Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), delayed talkers, and selective eaters.

How will a parent know if their child needs speech therapy? Any time a parent is concerned, it’s always best to refer to a speech pathologist. If your child is not producing sounds, not using a lot of words, not talking by two years old, not combining words, or not pronouncing words correctly, speech therapy is a good idea.

What steps should a parent take if they think their child needs speech therapy? Bring it up to your child’s pediatrician. You can also ask your insurance for recommendations. However, you do not need to have a referral to get your child evaluated by a speech pathologist.

If your child is under 3, the Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP) is a good place to start.

What types of speech disorders do pediatric speech therapists help with? Some of the most common speech disorders among children are:

  • Speech sound disorders (producing sounds incorrectly such as the “r” sound)
  • Language disorders (not using grammar correctly or not using sentences correctly)
  • Autism disorders (not responding to name, not understanding words)

What are some reasons why some children have speech trouble? It’s never anything you did, and it’s not your fault. Sometimes we don’t know the reason. In other cases it can be genetic, due to hearing loss, or even a neurological issue.

What can parents do at home to help their child with speech development?

  • Read the same few books every day so it becomes repetitive for the child.
  • Model language within your day to day routine. Narrate what you’re doing using simple language.
  • Follow your child’s lead, find what they’re interested in, join in and talk about it.
  • Work on imitating skills, and have your child imitate words with actions (such as clapping).

Why is it important for parents to seek out professional help for their child’s speech needs? We don’t want a child to get further behind. The earlier we intervene the better their progress will be.

For more information on Show and Tell Speech Therapy or to book an appointment with Hilary, visit showandtellspeech.com

Hilary Hopper, MS, CCC-SLP is an Arizona native. She lives in Mesa with her husband, daughter, and two pets. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Speech & Hearing Sciences from Arizona State University, and her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Western Kentucky University. As a mother, Hilary understands how busy parenthood is. Her goal at Show and Tell Speech Therapy is to teach you the strategies you need, while making it simple to integrate them into your daily routines. 



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