May is Better Hearing and Speech Month!

May is Better Hearing & Speech Month (BHSM).  It is a great time to spotlight the importance of early detection and treatment of communication disorders.

Speech-language pathologists assess and treat difficulties in:

  • speech (pronunciation)
  • language (understanding and using words and sentences)
  • stuttering
  • literacy (reading and writing)
  • social skills
  • listening and auditory processing
  • voice
  • feeding and swallowing

How do you know if your child should see a speech-language pathologist?

Some potential warning signs of speech and language problems include:

  • you or other people are having difficulty understanding your child (by age 3, a familiar listener should understand at least 75% of what your child says; by age 5, children should be able to say most speech sounds.)
  • people think your child is younger than they are because of the way they speak
  • your child is using fewer words than other children his age (by age 2, your child should be using at least 50 words and starting to combine 2-3 words together)
  • your child stutters
  • your child is being teased or is showing frustration because of the way he talks
  • your child’s interactions or play seems unusual or inappropriate
  • your child is struggling with reading or writing

You can check your child’s level of speech and language development with these checklists from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: