Jan 11, 2014

Does My Child Need Speech and Language Therapy?

Category: Toddlers
Posted By: Lerato
Question: My son turned 3 in Oct 2013 but doesn't speak in sentences. He can count to 10, and knows colours, body parts, animals and the sounds they make...

He likes calling out things that he sees like hello car/bird/sandwich and when he wants to watch a specific dvd for eg he'll say the name of the programme. My question is, do I need to be worried and take him for speech therapy or should I just let him be.

Thanks for your help,



Answer: Dear Lerato, Thank you for your question.  It is really difficult to advise you I am afraid, I don’t have quite enough information.  Your son certainly is gaining some language and he does manage to make himself understood.  The questions I would ask are:

  • Does he want to communicate?
  • Does he have an expectation that people will understand him?
  • Does he make eye contact?
  • Does he manage to make himself understood even without sophisticated language skills?
  • Is he able to learn new words when taught?

If the answer to all these is yes then you can be encouraged that your son has the basics for language and communication and it is likely that it will come in time.

Every child develops language at their own pace.  Some children delay language until very late and then suddenly start speaking in complex sentences.  Other children will start speaking very early with many mistakes and be happy to just muddle along and make themselves understood as best they can.  Children who are learning more than one language may be delayed in their vocabulary in one or more languages but will catch up in the longer term.  There is no set path for language acquisition.

If you remain worried then I can highly recommend a speech and language therapist called Ruth Jacobs who you can find on the web at:


I wish you the very best,


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