Parents should consider an evaluation if the child has not started saying at least one meaningful word by 12 months and is not using gestures like waving bye or pointing towards the desired object.
By 18 months if the child prefers using gestures over vocalizations while communicating and has trouble imitating sounds, parents should consult a pediatrician if the above-mentioned milestones have not developed and see if the child needs any assessment for speech and language.
Once the evaluation is done, parents would get clarity about whether the child’s speech and language skills are age-appropriate or he has a delay and suggest intervention accordingly.
If any delay is observed detailed examination should be carried out and required intervention should start as soon as possible.
One can confirm if speech and language therapy is needed or not only after the evaluation is done. Evaluation gives clarity about the child’s receptive language and expressive language age, one can figure out from which level to start the therapy for the child.
What is early intervention for speech delay?
early intervention as early as 6 months is best, if already known the child is facing issues with multiple developmental problem like hearing loss, genetic disorder, GDD etc
How many speech therapy sessions do my child need to improve his/her speaking skills?
Ans. The assessment of receptive language and expressive language age gives clarity on how many sessions would be required weekly. But it is difficult to say how much time it would take to see progress in an individual because every child is different in grasping a concept.
If the severity is more it is suggested to start intensive therapy, where the child is recommended to attend four to five days’ sessions in a week for 30 minutes to 45 minutes per session in the initial few months, then slowly as the child settles down the number of days can be reduced and child should be monitored if goals are getting achieved.In this 45 mins of session and atlst max three sessions along with group therapy can be added
Dr.Aditi -By 1.6 years of age a child should have verbal vocabulary of approx 20 meaningful words. If it is less then parents should meet a SLP and get evaluation done for the child.
WHY DOESN’T MY CHILD RESPOND TO HIS NAME?
It’s true that every child develops at their own pace, but if your child consistently doesn’t respond to his name by the time they turn 1-year-old, it could indicate a developmental delay or some impairment that requires action.
Reasons why a child won’t respond to his name could be:
- A hearing impairment; if this has been ruled out then developmental tests will be conducted
- If they present with other social and communication difficulties it may indicate a red flag for autism
- If autism has been ruled out, it could indicate a receptive language disorder or other disorders that may cause difficulty understanding and using language effectively.
TRAVELING WITH YOUR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD:
In 2008, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) introduced a new code, “DPNA”, which stands for “disabled passenger with intellectual or developmental disability needing assistance”.
You can use this code to book flights for passengers with autism, down syndrome, and so on.
Many people are unaware of this code but you can use it while booking your flight and call airlines prior to the flight for any assistance you may need such as special seating, priority boarding,medication allowances, wheelchair if required etc.
Every airline may not have accommodations but as a passenger it is your right to demand it or use airlines that provide such facilities.
5 tips for taking your special needs child for a HAIRCUT
The experience of a haircut can be overwhelming and even a little scary for our children who may have special needs or sensory differences.
- Talk to your child about the experience to prepare them for what’s going to happen. Show them pictures and videos of other children getting haircuts and explain what is going to happen.
- Ensure your child is sitting with you and following your instructions at home before you try making them sit at a barber shop.
- While getting the haircut, instead of saying don’t move your head or don’t touch your hair give prompts like ‘Keep your hands down’ , ‘Look straight in the mirror’.
- Inform the hair stylist about any specific sensory issues and how they can accommodate them.
- Bring your child’s favorite toy or candy as positive reinforcement for sitting!