You should really see a speech and language therapist
Now a days, when it comes to our kids and their development, we as parents and caregivers, spend a lot of time checking, observing, double checking and asking Dr Google is it "normal?" (whatever that is), or is it age appropriate?
In today's society, we are obsessed with showing off our lives on social media platforms and this doesn't exclude our children. From the minute they're born, they're snapped and videoed and we share these with our family, friends and sometimes even wider communities online. It is almost a necessity that we 'show off' how cute, adorable and 'advanced' our little ones are. And let's face it, we love when people swoon over our children.
At family gatherings, creche drop-offs, playgrounds, mother and toddler groups etc, we tend to compare our children to each other, even to the ones of our nearest and dearest. "Is he talking yet?", "You're blessed he's so quiet".... It is at this early stage that we may begin to notice that something may be a miss with our child.
In 2019, child development is very different to what we might have expected years ago. Generations have changed and so have norms. Older relatives may dismiss some of these worries, at no fault of their own. However, parent intuition is a real thing, so err on the side of caution and trust your gut. There are many reasons a child's development may be delayed. Some children may just need a little help to get up to speed. For other children, it may be a longer road but either way early detection and intervention is key!
There are multiple speech, language and communication developmental charts available online. Here is a quick look at some important interaction and communication milestones.
In terms of speech development, It is good to remember that not all speech sounds are expected before the age of 6. Mispronouncing vowel sounds or not producing specific consonant sounds is a common sign of speech impairment.
For some hard working parents, it may be a relative, a friends, or a childminder who bring concerns to your attention. In relation to speech difficulties it is quiet common for familiar people in that child's life to understand what they're saying. However, for other less familiar people, your child's speech may be harder to understand.
Speak to your Public Health Nurse, your GP, Paediatrician. These professional can help you to make a referral to a Speech and Language Therapist to explore this more.
A Speech and Language Therapist will discuss any concerns you may have and advise on the best pathway of care for your child, be that assessment, intervention or otherwise.
Remember, all children are unique and each child develops at their own pace. If you have concerns about your child's speech and language development, trust your instinct.
Claire & Suzanne