Our new Toddler Talking groups are proving popular with local parents looking for help to encourage their toddler to talk. Groups run twice a week at our Tooting clinic and your first session is completely free. Contact Lizzie at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Diagnosing autism is complex, but there are a few common signs that can help if you’re worried your child might have autism. Children’s psychologist Daniela Di Ciano tells us more.
“I know a lot of parents can be worried about their child having autism. There’s so much pressure nowadays to make sure your child is hitting all their developmental milestones at the ‘right’ age, and it can be a real concern if your child isn’t following the textbook.
Normal Developmental Errors
If your child struggles with certain speech sounds, it may reassure you to know that most children do not develop their entire speech repertoire until they are approximately seven years old. All of them will pass through what speech and language therapists call developmental ‘errors’ at various stages, for example saying ‘wed’ instead of ‘red’ and ‘tat’ instead of ‘cat.’ Many parents are unsure whether these errors are part of normal speech development, and when there is cause for concern. If you’re worried, check out our When to Refer Guide, showing the common difficulties for each age group that might indicate a problem. Some children present with speech sound difficulties that are not part of typical development, and speech therapy is normally necessary to resolve these.
Many parents give their babies and young children dummies to help them get to sleep and to comfort them. Babies have a strong sucking reflex and some research has shown that the use of dummies can help very young babies establish good sucking patterns. However, there are concerns about the long-term use of dummies, particularly on children’s speech and language development.
Many parents seek speech therapy for correcting a lisp as it can sound a bit inappropriate, especially in older school-age children. As children develop their speech sounds, they progress through a certain number of speech processes. These are what we term ‘normal errors’ and we expect them to resolve naturally by certain ages.
A lisp is not a ‘typical’ speech error. It does not usually make a child’s speech harder to understand and will normally resolve naturally in the early years, but it is not possible to know for certain if this will be the case.