What is “normal”?
All children’s speech and language skills develop at different rates. Some quickly pick up language skills while others progress at a slower rate. The important thing for parents to watch for is a steady rate of progress. First words usually emerge by 18 months. Between the ages of 18 months to 2 years, a “language explosion” usually occurs. During this period children dramatically increase the words they can say and also the words they can understand.
When To SEEK HELP?
Even when parents think their child’s speech and language development is unusually slower than normal they may be reluctant to contact a speech pathologist. Sometimes well meaning family and friends will assure them their child will “catch up”. Many people think their child may be too young to benefit from a speech and language evaluation. The fact is, babies or toddlers are never too young for a communication assessment. Some children with conditions such as cleft palate, Down’s syndrome, and hearing impairments may be seen in infancy. Other children who are indentified as being unusually silent, withdrawn, or unresponsive may be referred at a very early age.
You should not wait to have an evaluation if your child’s voice is persistently hoarse, if your child is disinterested in communicating with other people, or if your child usually responds to what you say by echoing all or part of it back to you word-for-word.
MILESTONES TO WATCH FOR
- 12 months = 2-5 words
- 18 months = 10-15 words
- 24 months = 50% words; combining words for phrases
- 36 months = 500+ words; using short sentences
The Right Time Is...
The right time to consult a speech language therapist pathologist is when you, as a parent, are concerned. After all, who knows a child better than their parents?
Referrals and Billing
Building Futures accepts referrals from physicians, schools, early intervention programs, community service agencies, parents, and families. We accept most private insurance plans and are in-network with all Bayou Health Medicade plans. Please call to verify benefits and coverage.
BAYOU HEALTH PLANS
- Aetna Better Health
- AmeriHealth Caritas
- Louisiana Heathcare Connections
- United Health Care
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Insurance Management Administrators (IMA)
- Insurance Systems
- TriCare (Humana)
- United Health Care (Commercial)
- United Health Care (UMR)