When Your Toddler Needs to See a Speech Therapist

When Your Toddler Needs to See a Speech Therapist

Written By

Sneha Rachel Jacob
Speech Language Pathologist

Clinically Reviewed By

Joan Annie Jacob
Speech Language Pathologist

“Is my toddler’s speech delayed? Should I be stressed? How do I know when to seek help?”

If you’re wondering when is the right time to see a speech language therapist for your toddler, you’re not alone. Most parents have the same worry. This blog is all about helping you to look out for symptoms of speech delay in your little one and if they require some extra help with their speech and language development. 

Each parent awaits their toddler’s first words, that marks a significant milestone in their developmental journey. However, when speech development doesn’t follow the expected path, it can spark concern and raise questions about what’s normal and when to seek help. Understanding the signs that may indicate a need for professional intervention is crucial in supporting your child’s ability to express themselves effectively. From understanding speech milestones to identifying communication challenges, we’re here to guide you through understanding when professional support might be the next step for your child’s speech and language development.

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What Is Speech Therapy?

Speech therapy aims at improving communication skills (both verbal and non-verbal aspects of communication).

Speech language pathologists work with children who have difficulties with

  • Speech sounds
  • Language development (comprehension and expression)
  • Fluency
  • Voice
  • Social communication

Whether it’s helping a child develop language skills or assisting an adult in regaining speech after an injury, speech therapy plays a vital role in supporting individuals of all ages in achieving their communication goals. speech therapy offers significant advantages for children experiencing speech and language difficulties

Is Speech Therapy Right For Your Toddler?

If you notice your child having difficulty speaking clearly, understanding words, or expressing themselves, speech therapy might be the solution. Skilled speech language pathologists enhance your toddler’s communication skills through fun games and different activities of speech therapy, ensuring they thrive socially and academically.


5 Signs Your Toddler Needs to See a Speech Therapist

  • Limited Vocabulary: Around 2 years of age, toddlers typically start to accumulate a range of words in their vocabulary. 
  • Unclear Speech: Around the age of 3-4 years, most children should be able to pronounce most sounds and words clearly enough for others to understand. 
  • Trouble Following Simple commands: Difficulty understanding and following simple instructions could signal language comprehension issues. 
  • Engaging in Solitary Play: It’s common for toddlers to prefer solitary play at times, a consistent avoidance of group play might signal potential concerns. Group play is crucial for social development
  • Phonological Errors: Phonological errors, such as substituting one sound for another or simplifying words, are typical in early language development. However, persistent or excessive errors beyond the expected age range could indicate a need for intervention. If your child consistently struggles with pronouncing sounds or forming words correctly, a speech therapist can provide targeted support to improve their speech clarity and language skills.


Worried about your toddler’s speech?

It’s natural for parents to have concerns about their child’s speech development. If you notice your toddler struggling to communicate, pronounce words clearly, or understand language, seeking guidance from a speech therapist can provide clarity and support. Early intervention is key to addressing any potential speech difficulties and ensuring your child’s communication skills flourish.

How Can Speech Therapists Help Your Toddler? 

Speech therapists are experts in diagnosing and addressing a range of communication challenges in toddlers. They provide speech therapy for children with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)apraxia of speech (AOS), language disorder, etc. Through personalised treatment plans, speech therapists help clients develop clearer speech, expand vocabulary, enhance understanding of language, and improve social interaction skills.



At What Age is Speech Therapy for Your Toddler Recommended?

Speech development varies from child to child, but early intervention is key. If your toddler shows signs of speech delay, difficulty understanding language, or struggles with clear communication beyond age-appropriate milestones, it’s advisable to seek guidance. Speech therapy can begin as early as 18 months.

How to Find a Speech Therapist

If you think that your toddler might require professional help, speak to your paediatrician at the earliest in order to get a referral to a speech language pathologist. Else you can reach out to us directly to book an appointment with a speech therapist in Kochi at the earliest.

Can We Do Speech Therapy At Home? 

Speech language pathologists, counsel and train parents to incorporate the activities done in the session in a child’s daily routine. This will help in enhancing the child’s speech and language skills. Follow therapists’ recommendations and utilise online resources for guidance. However, consistency and patience are key. Regular communication with your child’s speech therapist ensures progress towards communication goals. 



In conclusion, understanding and addressing speech and language development concerns in toddlers is crucial for their overall growth and future success. Whether it’s recognizing the signs that indicate a need for speech therapy, knowing when to seek professional help, informed and proactive steps can make a significant difference. Each child’s journey to clear and confident communication is unique, but with the right support, strategies, and resources, parents can provide their children with the foundation that they require in order to advance in their communication skills. Remember, early intervention and collaboration with professionals are key to understanding speech development challenges effectively.

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