If you have concerns about your child’s speech, you should consider getting an initial assessment by a Speech Language Pathologist/Therapist (SLP/SLT). Speech and language development has certain milestones that should be met as the child grows. While every child is different, a general guideline for speech and communication skills can be looked at to see what is expected from a child of a certain age.
No. A child can be referred to a speech language pathologist as early as 12 months. At earlier stages of development, a therapist will do an assessment of skills, provide caregiver training, and monitor development of skills over time. Remember, early intervention is always better for speech and language development!
The number of sessions required will depend on a variety of factors. For instance, a child with an articulation disorder may require 10-15 sessions depending on the severity of the issue. The number of sessions per week will be decided upon by the SLT once an assessment has been completed. The SLT will also be able to answer more questions once the child has been assessed.
No, a referral from a doctor is not required. If you are concerned about your child’s communication, you can refer them yourself.