It is estimated that between 8% and 9% of young children suffer from speech disorders; moreover speech, language and hearing issues are among the most common disabilities in this country, affecting more than 40 million Americans.
Tammy Taylor, MS, CCC-SLP, founder of the SLP Center, encourages parents to educate themselves about the signs of speech and hearing disorders through the “Identify the Signs” campaign, a national effort facilitated by the American Speech-Language-
Certified speech-language pathologists see the benefits of early intervention every day. They also see the consequences of parents and others waiting too long to seek treatment.
In children, parents should watch for the following signs of speech and language disorders:
Does not interact socially (infancy and older)
Does not follow or understand what you say (starting at age 1)
Says only a few sounds or words or makes only a few gestures (18 months to 2 years)
Says words that are not easily understood (18 months to 2 years)
Does not combine words (starting at 2 years)
Struggled to say sounds or words (3 to 4 years)
In adults, signs of speech and language disorders include:
Struggles to say words or sounds
Repeats words or parts of words
Says words in the wrong order
Struggles with using words and understanding others
Has difficulty imitating speech sounds
Speaks at a slow rate
Produces slurred speech
While it is certainly never too late to seek help, treatment is most successful, less expensive and takes the shortest amount of time when a parent or loved one is able to pick up on the earliest signs of these disorders. One should never assume a child will ‘outgrow’ speech or language difficulties. There is never harm in seeking an assessment, whether it results in putting your mind at ease or identifying a potential issue that can be treated.
About Speech-Language Pathology Center
Tammy Taylor established the Speech Language Pathology Center, (SLP Center) in 2009 and expanded to Norwell, MA in 2013. SLP Center is a provider of quality, professional speech and language therapy in an individualized and family-centered manner. Emphasis is placed on the client's functional needs while utilizing innovative research-based therapy within the speech and feeding clinic for patients with varying degrees of impairment (i.e. autism, specific language impairment). Tammy Taylor conducts national level iPad conferences for speech therapists and special educators. She also provides educational seminars and workshops for educational and clinical facilities on effective use of the iPad to facilitate communication and speech therapy. The center was recognized as a “2013 Family Favorite Award” from Boston Parent’s Magazine, and Tammy Taylor was interviewed in 2011 by the CBS program “60 minutes” which aired a special on the use of “apps” in helping autistic children communicate. For more information, please visit www.slpcenter.com or call 781-792-2700.