Does Your Child Need Speech-Language Therapy?

By Angie Rikard Director of Speech-Language Services for Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center. May 1, 2019

My name is Angie Rikard and I am the Director of Speech-Language Services for Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center. I have been serving children and adults in the Charlotte area for 20 years! And I am thrilled to share a little bit about Speech-Language Pathology with you to celebrate May as Better Speech and Hearing Month. 

For many parents who do not have experience with Communication Disorders, it can be difficult to identify speech delays in your child. Through this article, I hope to give you some tools for identifying Communication Disorders and provide you with information on when and how to seek out therapy services. If you answer “no” to one or more of the following questions, a speech-language screening is warranted. 

A screening is not the same as a full evaluation. A quick screening will give you an opportunity to consult with a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) so that together you can decide if your child actually needs a full evaluation for speech-language delays. 

At 9 months old:

  • Does your child imitate sounds?
  • Does your child “jibber-jabber”?
  • Has your child begun to respond to requests? (i.e. “Give me the ball.”)
  • Does your child look up when you call?

At 12 months old:

  • Does your child babble? (ba-ba-ba)
  • Does your child use single words?
  • Does your child vocalize spontaneously to indicate wants and needs?
  • Does your child listen to people talking?

At 18-24 months old:

  • Does your child use 10-15 words (or 20 words by age 2)?
  • Does your child ask 1-2 word questions? (i.e. “Where kitty?”)
  • Does your child put 2 words together? (i.e. “More cookie.”)
  • Can your child follow 1-step directions? (without cues or gestures)

At 30-36 months old:

  • Does your child listen to stories?
  • Can your child point to 6 or more body parts?
  • Does your child say “I or “me”?
  • Can your child give his/her full name?
  • Does your child ask “wh” questions?
  • Does your child use plurals and past tense verbs? (may be used incorrectly)

At 4 years old:

  • Does your child use 200-300 words?
  • Does your child use 3-4 word sentences and questions?
  • Does your child understand descriptive concepts? (big, soft, hot)
  • Does your child say most sounds, except “s, z, th, l, v” and “r”?

At 5 years old:

  • Does your child use the same sentence structure as the family?
  • Does your child say all sounds correctly, except “th, r, v”?
  • Does your child know common opposites?

At 6 years old:

  • Does your child use adult-like grammar in sentences and conversations?
  • Can your child tell the month and day of his/her birthday?
  • Can your child say his address?
  • Does your child know the meaning of “today, yesterday” and “tomorrow”? 
  • Does your child produce all speech sounds correctly?

If your child is behind in any of these areas appropriate for her/his age, talk to a Speech-Language Pathologist. Early identification equals early intervention and provides your child with more opportunities to communicate properly as she/he gets older. 

If you feel that your child is in need of a speech-language screening, please do not hesitate to reach out to Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center. We offer a free initial screening as a part of our mission to serve our community. CSHC has operated in the Charlotte area since 1967 and serves people of all ages throughout Mecklenburg and Union counties. We have two offices, one in Midtown in Charlotte and one in Monroe. Call us at (704) 523-8027 to schedule an appointment. 

If you are interested in learning more about Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center and how we can help your family, visit our website 

Angie Rikard

Angie Rikard is the Director of Speech-Language Services at Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center. She earned her Master’s degree in Communication Disorders from Appalachian State University in 1999 and has been serving adults and children in Charlotte ever since. Angie is also a singer and songwriter and mother of 2 outstanding young men. 

May is Better Speech and Hearing Month 

Each May, Better Hearing & Speech Month provides an opportunity to raise awareness about communication disorders and the role of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) members in providing life-altering treatment.