By Jordan Sadler, SLP
New parents look forward to their child’s first words with great anticipation. We want to hear that cute little voice, and start to understand better what our child is thinking about. We dream about how easy parenting will be when our child is able to tell us what he wants with words rather than cries.
But what does it mean when the child in your life is the last one in the playgroup to utter those first words? What if you are the only one who understands those first words? What if he starts to stutter all of a sudden at age 3? And what about that 1st grader who is still lisping? When is it normal and when does it require remediation? How do we know when we should become more concerned?
“Einstein didn’t talk until he was four,” well-meaning people are fond of saying. Then there’s the other playground stand-by, “He’s a boy--boys are slower than girls to talk.” And finally we have the pediatrician’s response, “Let’s just wait and see,” which does many children a huge disservice because it delays critical early intervention so often.
So how do we know?