Thursday 22 August 2019

Dear David Coleman: I'm worried my son's speech is delayed

Cute little boy at speech therapist office
Cute little boy at speech therapist office
David Coleman

David Coleman

Q My son is three since last month. He is very happy-go-lucky and seems to be on-the-ball about things, but I am a bit worried about his speech.

He can understand most things I say and he seems to take direction well, but he only says one or maybe two words at a time. He is more likely to point at something than to say the word. Should I be taking him for a speech and language assessment? He is our only child, so I don't really know what's normal.

David replies: Most children his age will be speaking in two to three-word sentences (eg. "I play car", "more juice", "you go kitchen"). As you have noticed with your son, their understanding of speech (receptive language) will always outpace their ability to verbalise (expressive language).

Things you can do to support and help his language development include; repeating new words to him, describing what you are doing, reading books daily and expanding on anything he says (eg. if he says "play car" you can say "you want to play with your car?"). Even just smiling or nodding in response to him will also encourage him by letting him know that he is being understood.

However, if you are worried, then do bring your son to a speech and language therapist for a definitive opinion about his language development.

'If you are worried, then bring your son to a speech and language therapist for a definitive opinion'
'If you are worried, then bring your son to a speech and language therapist for a definitive opinion'

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