By Sharon Collins
The importance of early intervention in identifying and remediating speech and language deficits cannot be overstated. Research shows that school-age children with language problems are typically not proficient readers and writers and frequently experience problems in reading comprehension.
With regard to reading and writing, children who exhibit poor articulation may demonstrate poor comprehension due to mispronouncing words and will spell like they speak. In addition, for children who exhibit issues in the areas of fluency, listening skills and social skills, early intervention is key to success in school and in life.
The following list enumerates red flags for parents, indicating that a child may need to be referred for screening and/or evaluation.
- The child is not speaking, or has very few words, by age 2.
- The child exhibits articulation errors beyond age 7.
- The child’s speech is difficult to understand.
- The child’s grammar is characterized by errors such as incorrect pronouns, verb tense.
- The child’s communication skills appear to be delayed compared to peers.
- The child frequently asks for repetition.
- The child has difficulty remembering information presented orally.
- The child has difficulty in reading or spelling.
- The child has difficulty interacting in social settings.
- The child repeats sounds, syllables or words when trying to communicate.
- University of Michigan: “Speech and Language Delay and Disorder”
- National Institutes of Health: “Relationship Between Speech-Sound Disorders and Early Literacy Skills in Preschool-Age Children: Impact of Comorbid Language Impairment”
- Casana: "Children with Apraxia and Reading, Writing and Spelling Difficulties"
About the author
Sharon K. Collins, M.S., C.C.C.-S/LP, C.O.M. is the owner and director of the Cincinnati Center for Improved Communication, Inc., a pediatric-based private practice. Ms. Collins earned her Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing degree and Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Miami University. She is licensed by the Ohio Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is certified by the International Association of Orofacial Myology. CCIC, Inc. has provided services on the Summit campus since 1989.