speech therapy assessment

Should I get a speech therapy assessment for my young child or should I wait?

What is early intervention in speech pathology?

Early intervention in speech pathology refers to therapy provided to children between birth and 3 years who do not appear to have met speech and language developmental milestones for any reason. Therapy aims to support functional communication across the areas of speech and language to help these children achieve family-centered goals (often age-appropriate milestones) as much as possible. Early intervention is not only important for children but also for parents and caregivers. It can provide parents and caregivers with much-needed networks, strategies, and information to support their child’s overall development.

Why is it important?

Within the first three years of life, children are going through the most rapid stage of their development with their brain being considered the most ‘plastic’ at this age. This means their brain has the greatest ability to change or adapt during this time. The intervention provided by age 3 has been shown to help minimize or reduce the impact of long-term speech and language delays due to this plasticity of the brain, rather than just ‘waiting it out’.

Speech and language development in children is like a ladder. Intention to communicate and sounds come first, followed by single words, two- and three-word combinations and short phrases, and then early conversations. Considering the ability to converse and be ready for school relies on these developmental steps, it is unlikely children with speech and/or language delays will catch up on their own without structured support.

Early intervention may also improve behavior and relationships with others. As children learn to express their emotions, needs, and wants with improved language or clearer speech, they become better able to navigate relationships and social interactions with others. For example, making new friends, expressing feelings, and resolving conflicts. As a result, physical behaviors, such as hitting or biting, are likely to reduce.

Speech therapy assessment for kids are non-invasive and often a lot of fun, so there is little reason to wait if you have any concerns at all about your child’s communication skills. At QPAH, we see Gold Coast kids for speech assessments and therapy at any age!

To find out more or book a kid’s Speech Therapy Assessment, contact the Gold Coast speech therapists for kids at either our QPAH Varsity Lakes or Southport clinic today!