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Forget Dr Google

“I’m worried about my child’s speech”

I’ve heard that sentence a lot. As a mum to two and a Speech and Language Therapist a lot of my friends with young children-nearly all at some point-have got in touch to express concerns about some aspect of their toddler’s communication, mostly speech.

I don’t blame them either.

Being a parent is exhausting in this digital information age we live in. If you want to know early milestones for walking-google it. Concerned your child is not holding a pencil correctly-google it, worried your child is going to the toilet too frequently and/or not enough-google it.

Let me tell you Dr. Google is not your friend.

I don’t mean to preach from a pedestal, I’ve referred to Dr. Google on several occasions. I remember when my first born was about 6 months old, an app I’d downloaded when pregnant sent me a notification congratulating me on the milestone and informing me of how many consonants my 6-month old should be producing.

I remember panicking. I spent the day analyzing the consonants she was, mostly wasn’t, producing and I got into a frenzy. On this one I should’ve known better but the internet got to me.

So to any parents currently feeling a bit overwhelmed and concerned that their child is only producing 6 words communicatively and not 10 as google suggests, stop and reflect. Consider the following;

  • How do you feel about their understanding of language?
  • How would you describe their play skills?
  • Do they seek you out for comfort?
  • Do they show you things, engage you in things that they enjoy?
  • Are they engaging you in eye contact, do they look in your direction when you’re speaking?
  • Have they a range of play things that they enjoy and engage with?

 

These are all the prerequisites for speech to develop:

 

 

Put the foundations in place to support speech and language. Choose repetitive books with key phrases, bright colors and chunky pages for your toddler to turn. Play, play and play some more. Try to avoid asking them too many questions and comment using simple language on everyday tasks your toddler is engaged in. Trust your own gut and watch your child.

If you are concerned, please pick up the phone or drop us a line. Don’t waste any more time or worry in seeking advice from Dr. Google.

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