Does My Child Need to See a Speech-Language Pathologist?


As a new mom, I understand the joy of watching your little ones reach various developmental milestones. From the first time they smile at you to taking their first step with wide eyes, it creates a joy inside of you that is unexplainable. I also understand the countless hours parents spend on Google looking up, “When will my child take their first step?” or “Should I be concerned that my child is not talking yet?” We want to see our children thrive and our natural inclination is to worry if they’re not hitting each milestone as Google tells us they should.

First, I want to take a moment to reiterate something you already know but we all need to be reminded of- your child is unique and special. Every child is different and will develop at his or her own speed, and that is ok. Our job at Steel City Speech is to help you navigate if your child could benefit from some additional support with his or her speech or language abilities as those communication skills continue to develop.

The age at which a specific skillset is acquired varies, but the stages in which they develop are typically consistent. The following is a list of signs in your child’s speech and language that may signal a need for further evaluation from a speech-language pathologist:

Birth to 6 months

  • Not babbling, smiling, or playing with others

7 - 12 months

  • Making only a few sounds
  • Not using gestures (i.e., waving and pointing)
  • Not understanding what others say or words for common items

12- 18 months

  • Saying only a few words

1 ½ - 2 years

  • Not putting two words together
  • Saying fewer than 50 words
  • Not saying p,b,m,h, and w the right way in words most of the time
  • Does not follow simple commands (i.e., roll the ball)

2 - 3 years

  • Having trouble playing and talking with other children
  • Having problems with early reading and writing. For example, your child may not like to draw or look at books
  • Not saying k, g, f, t, d, and n the right way in words most of the time. Child is difficult to understand, even to people who know the child well.
  • Having a lot of trouble saying sounds or words
  • Repeating the first sounds of words, like “b-b-b-ball” for “ball”
  • Pausing a lot while talking
  • Stretching sounds out, like “fffffarm” for “farm”

3 - 4 years:

  • Does not answer simple who, what, and where questions
  • Others have a difficult time understanding what your child is trying to say
  • Does not talk about what happened during the day

4 - 5 years:

  • Does not follow multi-step directions (i.e., put your pajamas on, brush your teeth, then pick out a book)
  • Does not seem to hear or understand most of what is heard at home and school

So what’s next? You’ve identified with one of the following statements and feel your child would benefit from our services. First, trust your gut. You know your child better than anyone else and if you have speech or language concerns, the sooner you address them the better. Second, call us and we will talk you through our evaluation process during your free, no obligation phone consultation. We are eager to work with you and your child in forming an individualized therapy plan catered to your child’s specific needs to get them on the road to communication success!  

For more information, please visit: