Toddlers: 24 Months+

Toddler speech question

edited September 2013 in Toddlers: 24 Months+
So my mother has been a teacher for most of my life and education is important to her. She become concerned that my son will be three in October and does not speak clearly. Well, some things he says clear and some things he doesn't. He is a very outgoing child, said his first word at nine months, and will talk your head off , lol.
Anyway, so I found a free program run by the city that tests your child in four areas of development (speech, physical, cognitive, and something else). They basically let him play and asked him to complete tasks while he played, plus asked me lots of questions.
Long story short, they said he didn't have any delays in any areas they tested and in fact he is ahead in most areas. They said if his speech doesn't get better in the next six months then I should bring him back.
Have any other moms had toddlers who couldn't speak clearly at this age and if so, what did you do to help? I am constantly correcting him and giving positive reinforcement when he says things correctly. Am I missing something or are there other techniques that I am missing. Thanks in advance for your responses!

Re: Toddler speech question

  • I had my daughter tested by EI also.  She was tested at 2 1/2 due to a lack of clear speech (she babbled constantly but in her own language).  DH and I couldn't understand most of what she said at the time.  She did not qualify for services since her only delay was articulation (she was diagnosed with an articulation disorder), but the evaluators still recommended services due to her frustration level with not being understood.  I am very grateful for their recommendation since she is now almost 4 and speaks much better, even strangers can understand most of what she says now.  You could try private speech therapy if your insurance will cover it.  Ours will not without some other medial issue.

    Otherwise you can try doing some type of therapy yourself.  DD's speech therapy is now one-on-one since she is three so I don't know exactly what they do,  but I do hear her reinforcing sounds through different techniques.  I know they play things like speech Candyland, etc. (DD has to attempt to say a word before she can move).  I know there is a lot of over exaggerated showing of sounds to showing DD the mouth movement of sounds.  Also, try searching speech therapy on Pinterest.  I found a lot of good ideas and info there!  Unfortunately DD gets frustrated with DH and I when we try to work on speech with her so I no longer have an EI board to link to anymore. 
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  • edited September 2013
    I would probably talk to your pedi about it and see if you can get a referral to speech therapy. A lot of a school districts may not consider artic problems so young an educational need but it could possibly be a symptom of a speech disorder and you want to intervene young. If that isn't covered by insurance, you can try to help at home. Here's a chart of the order speech sounds usually come in. SOUND DEVELOPMENT CHART.pdf Here's a site with flashcards you can print and practice with. Start with the earliest sounds and work your way forward. Also look into a hearing test as fluid in the ears can affect speech quality. It should be something you can get for free from a school for the deaf. Gl!
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  • I guess it's hard to tell what you mean when you say he doesn't speak clearly.  DD doesn't pronounce everything correctly, but people can understand most of what she is saying, which is appropriate at this age.  Like DD will say, 'firsty' for thirsty but those aren't things you worry about until later. Most 3-year-olds will use 2-3 sentences that are 75% understandable and ask 'What's that?" and 'why'?  If your son is doing that, I wouldn't be concerned.

    As for what you can do to help speech development, the obvious things that you are probably already doing, reading and talking with your son, limiting screen time particularly non-interactive TV.  Give him plenty of time to finish his thought and try not to correct at this age, just say it correctly and eventually he will catch on.  DD: "Mama, I'm firsty" Me: "Oh you're thirsty, let's get you something to drink."  that kind of thing.  

    As pp said it doesn't hurt to get hearing tested, that can definitely affect speech.  Also if you are still using sippy cups it is best to ditch those now.  Regular or straw cups are better for speech development.  
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