I recently invited my favorite Speech Language Pathologist (fancy words for “speech therapist”), Liz Blake to answer questions from my Facebook followers. (Be sure to follow me on Facebook to take advantage of future opportunities like this!) I will feature the rest of her answers at a later date, so stay tuned for those.
I have worried about several of these questions myself – so I am sure you too will be relieved to see these concerns addressed by Ms. Liz.
Alex: What should be done with a child who has trouble with their r’s? (5 year old)
Alex, thank you for your question. There are developmental normative data for when children are able to produce the specific sounds of speech. Typically, the “r” is one of the last sounds to develop. It is not unusual for a child at age 5 to still be waiting for this sound to emerge. You can always contact the speech-language pathologist at your child’s school to request more information.
Melissa: My soon to be 3 year old son has a little lisp. I don’t mind it now but I do want to continue working on it as he is getting older. However, he still drools a bit as he talks. I am associating it with the lisp. Is this common? How do you go about working on eliminating the lisp/drool?
Melissa, thank you for your question. In regards to your observation of your 3 year old’s lisp/drooling, I would recommend that you discuss this with your pediatrician. Children typically exhibit excessive saliva (drooling) when they are teething. Drooling beyond that may indicate that the child would benefit from an evaluation with a licensed speech-language pathologist who can determine why your child is drooling, and make recommendations as to how to help your child reduce this occurrence.
Ashley: Would you suggest an 8 year old see a speech therapist even though the speech therapists at school say he doesn’t qualify due to good grades? Th and S are made by sticking his tongue out of his mouth.
Ashley, Thank you for your question. I would suggest that this 8 year old be seen for an evaluation by a licensed speech pathologist outside of the school environment. I have had a number of children referred to my own practice when the child’s speech needs cannot be met by the school district. There can be significant consequences to the alignment of the teeth and/or to intelligibility when children use abnormal placements or productions for speech sounds. (Tove’s note: Ashley, our son also didn’t qualify for speech therapy through the school because he didn’t have any other concerns. We went to see Ms. Liz and he was back on track within weeks.)
[bctt tweet=”When is #LanguageDevelopment a concern? A #SpeechTherapist gives expert answers”]
Liz Blake has been a household name in our home since our oldest was 4 years old. Jacob developed a severe stuttering problem rather suddenly. Ms. Liz is incredibly knowledgable in the science behind children’s language development. But most importantly, it was her patience and her passion for her craft that carefully won over Jacob, and allowed her to crack the code to his fluency issue. Jacob is now what I like to call a “smooth talker” thanks to Ms. Liz and her incredibly effective ways. To this day, Jacob thinks the primary reason he went to see Ms. Liz was to play board games – and that smoothing his speech was merely secondary to our visits.
I highly recommend seeing a good speech therapist for any of your child’s language development concerns. If nothing else, getting reassurance that everything is “on track” is peace of mind worth its weight in gold.
Reach out to Lizanne Blake with any questions or to schedule a consultation.
Lizanne P. Blake, CCC-SLP
800 Village Square Crossing, Suite 120, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
What are your biggest language development worries?