Speech is one of those things that you just hope and pray your child will figure out from all the people around them. It’s hard to know,at first, if there is a delay and then some say there just late bloomers.
Early intervention is key if you think and recognize a problem. Some school districts thankfully recognize this. So if your child is approaching 2 or 3 and struggling with speech, call you school district, and ask about early speech intervention at a school near you. Sometimes you can qualify , school gives an assessment , then you can access free speech through the school. Also check with your pediatrician for a good speech pathologist in your area. Before you go looking for a speech pathologist they will want to know if you got your child’s hearing checked. So do that first to eliminate possibility that it’s your child’s hearing at the root cause.
Then there Apraxia – the link below will provide lots of information
Apraxia is a frontal lobe disorder so it’s a speech problem caused by the brain. We were very lucky and found a Apraxia specialist in our area and my son started speech at 18 months. Prior to my son starting speech the Drs thought he was Autistic. All he did was scream and throw things. He did this for hours daily around starting around the age of 1. He could not say more then two words, dog and ball. Early on I did baby signs which helped initially to communicate but turned into a nightmare when he developed using his hands to create his own language and then scream at us in frustration for not understanding his bizarre hand signals. Looking back it was cute at times but very frustrating.
I share this section on speech because speech is important and early intervention is key. My son didn’t end up being Autistic, though many other diagnosis came later some related to autism , had we not done early intervention he might not have ever been able to put clear words and sentences together. Apraxia is different in that the child knows what they want to say, but the frontal lobe of the brain scrambles it up so that when they talk it sounds like gibberish.
It’s best to find and work with a Speech Therpist that not only understands Apraxia But has you work at home with your child. We made the biggest break throughs doing flash cards daily at home. I not going to lie to you, it was a lot of work and difficult at times, but by four years old my son was no longer deemed Apraxic. Even though, he had been diagnosed, severely Apraxic early on. Even if your child’s older, don’t lose hope. Keep working and trying and don’t give up.
So another connection I have made with kids ,like my son, that are Atypical in the diagnosing world. Many of these children struggled with speech, were late talkers, or had behavior problems because they simply can’t communicate what they want without frustration.
Also don’t be afraid to try different speech pathologist and methods. Before we found out my son was Apraxic we went to at least 7 different speech pathologist. Many have there own philosophies and methods. Find what works best for your child and if you don’t have options do your own research and see if the pathologist is willing to check out the research too. We are the main and sometimes only advocate for these children. Your gut feelings are what must be listened to.
Here are some good links to check out below