I have two children that have speech problems. Since my other kids all had similar issues that they grew out of, I figured that these two would as well.
They are about to go into speech therapy and I am kicking myself for not taking care of it sooner Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a serious case of the dreaded mom guilt. The thing is, most kids do grow out of speech problems, so how are you supposed to know whether it is a developmental issue or a real problem that needs therapy?
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not easy. Experts agree that most kids will make their sounds properly by the time they start kindergarten, althoughÃ‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“thÃ¢â‚¬Â problems can continue until age 8.
I always straddle the fence between not wanting to make big deal out of it, thus causing the child to be self-conscious, and trying to help them say the sounds correctly. With my two, it is the Ã¢â‚¬Å“RÃ¢â‚¬Â sound that is defeating them.
Speech therapy is available in most areas. We ran into a rough patch with the school district arguing that they didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to provide speech therapy for homeschoolers and the state said they did. Nothing got accomplished. Now, I have to put them in a local school because of my work load and they are going to be able to get speech therapy. Yay!
If you are worried about your childÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s speech development, you should talk to your pediatrician about it. If your child is under age five, then he will probably grow out of it, but it is always good to reassure yourself that things are fine.
If you feel your child does need speech therapy, you can talk to your school or call the American Speech Language Hearing Association at 800-638-8255. They should be able to put you in contact with someone in your area.