In my practice, both in the private and public sectors, I have come across an alarming number of parents/caregivers who have elected to wait to see if their child’s language development will eventually “catch up” on its own. They do this for a variety of reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is because someone else – someone who does NOT specialize in children’s language development – suggested it. Unfortunately, this advice comes all too often from well-meaning relatives, friends, and/or doctors.
It is a fact that some children do catch up on their own. These children tend to have things going on that makes this more likely, such as intact hearing and age-appropriate language understanding and social skills. But catching up is never certain, regardless of the variables that would make it more likely.
The biggest risk of a “wait and see” approach is the loss of opportunity for enrichment during the critical early period of brain development. This is a great chance for parents of children with language delays to be coached by their Speech-Language Pathologist on the best ways to help their children develop language skills. Gaps in children’s skills grow quickly, especially during this time of rapid development. The great news is that, with identification and treatment, children with delays can also benefit from the speed at which their brains are developing.
Parents have the power to choose the course of their young children’s care. Regardless of where you receive service, a Speech-Language Pathologist is the professional best trained to determine your child’s speech and language skills and to work with you and your child.
To the right of this article, you will find a link to Tyke Talk, the publicly-funded preschool speech and language service in London/St. Thomas and surrounding area. For school-aged kids, please find the link for the Thames Valley District School Board, also on the right of this page. If you wish to pursue private services, please contact us by telephone, email, or online referral (tab at the top of this page).
Gaps grow quickly. Don’t risk letting that happen.