Dorothy Dougherty, MA, provides speech therapy for children just learning to speak, and she is the author of How to Talk to Your Baby. In this series, she answers the questions that new parents most frequently ask her.
How do I seek professional help?
Expecting too much can be just as harmful as expecting too little. A Speech/Language Pathologist is trained to evaluate and treat children and adults with speech or language problems. He or she may administer test that show how much language your daughter understands (receptive language), and how many sounds or word approximations she is able to express (expressive language). She may also listen to how a child communicates in different situations and try to determine why she may be slow to develop her ability to communicate. With this information, she can offer suggestions for stimulating language development or suggest a more formal treatment program. An audiologist is a hearing care professional who specializes in prevention, identification and assessment of hearing and related disorders. For assistance with finding a Speech/Language Pathologist or Audiologist in your area, you may contact the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, 800-638-8255 or your local school district. It is not necessary to wait until your child is in school, as your local school district or county health department is required to provide appropriate free services for children from birth to five.
Question #1 -- Early Communication
Question #2 -- Learning the Meaning of Words
Question #3 -- Growing Up Bilingual
Question #4 -- Stuttering
Question #5 -- Sound Deadlines
Question #6 -- When Should I Be Concerned?