Does My Child Need Speech Therapy?

Therapies and Resources for Children with Autism & Families

This is a question the Peak Potential Therapy team often discusses with parents. Many parents aren’t sure if their child speaks at an appropriate ability level, or if their child is too young to begin speech therapy.

One place to begin is by completing an age-specific self-evaluation of your child to determine whether you should meet with a speech therapist for a standardized formal evaluation.

A self-evaluation will help you assess your child’s speech and language. Some questions on the evaluation relate directly to speech language skills, such as whether your child can follow simple directions, can show you an object upon request, enjoys listening to stories, or asks questions. Other questions relate specifically to your child’s ability to articulate sounds, like “b as in ‘baby’” or “w as in ‘we’”. Finally, a speech therapy self-evaluation should also include questions regarding your child’s eating, as this can help diagnose dysphagia, a difficulty in swallowing which also affects speech and language. (Peak Potential Therapy offers self-evaluations for children at ages one, two, three, four, and five years.)

You may be surprised at the comprehensive benefits of speech therapy for your child, whether he or she has delayed speech or another special need. We believe that this therapy is so critical for a child both at school and at home, and is particularly important for building confidence that promotes lifelong success. For example, the speech therapists at Peak Potential Therapy work with children who have a range of needs, including:

  • Inability to make speech sounds, or to make them clearly.
  • Problems understanding and producing language.
  • Issues with speech rhythm and fluency, such as stuttering.
  • Oral motor problems causing eating and swallowing difficulties.

If you are hesitating to have your child’s speech and language evaluated, remember this: Early referrals will usually avoid problems later on. In fact, speech therapy is found to be most effective when children are younger than three years of age. Call Peak Potential Therapy today to schedule a formal evaluation of your child with one of our therapists and to discuss speech therapy services we have available for your child in the Greater Cleveland-Akron areas.