It is important to identify communication disorders in children when they are very young. Communication disorders can become worse and more serious as children grow older. When a disorder gets worse, it becomes harder to treat and correct. Sometimes, it is difficult to know for sure if a child has a communication disorder. Children differ from each other in the way they develop, so it may be hard to tell when they have unusual problems. Parents may not know whether to take the child for a checkup. It is always better for children to be tested when they are young. As a provider, you can help parents figure out where to go for help. This way, if children do have a communication disorder, treatment can start early.
The people who test speech and language are called speech-language pathologists. They may be connected to early childhood development programs. They also may be located in children’s clinics or schools. As a provider, it would be helpful for you to have a list of some of these professionals before problems occur.
Some common misunderstandings about speech and language development are:
• The problem will go away as the child grows older.
Sometimes a disorder goes away as the child grows up (like stuttering).
But this does not happen with all children or with all problems. It
is always better for a child to be tested and treated when she is very
young. Do not wait to see if the problem will go away by itself.
For more information, contact Judith A. Myers-Walls, PhD, CFLE at firstname.lastname@example.org
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