About Speech Language Pathology

What is SLP and is it right for my child?


What is Speech Language Pathology?

Speech-language pathology is a field of expertise practiced by a clinician known as a speech-language pathologist (SLP), also called speech and language therapist, or speech therapist, who specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of communication disorders, cognition, voice disorders, and swallowing disorders.

Indicators of a Speech and/or Language Delay

Every child develops differently and at different rates. However, there are some very important skills that need to be developed in order for the child to grow and thrive as he/she continues to develop. These foundational skills are crucial for speech and language development and if not observed by certain ages we see this as a red flag that may indicate your child should be evaluated by a speech-language pathologist or a related specialist (early interventionist, psychologist, etc).



If your child is showing any of the following signs, please call us to make an appointment.

Under 18 months

  • No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by 6 months
  • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by 9 months or thereafter
  • No babbling by 12 months
  • Does not respond to his/her name by 12 months
  • No sharing/reciprocal interactions like pointing, sharing, reaching or waving by 12 months
  • No pointing at objects of interest by 14 months (pointing at a car driving by)
  • Does not understand simple common words like mama or milk
  • Is not using any words by 16 months
  • Does not imitate gross motor movements like clapping or stomping feet

By 18 months

  • Does not use at least 8-10 meaningful words
  • Does not follow simple commands like “come here” “stop” “don’t” “give me the ____”  or “touch your nose”
  • Does not follow your pointing with his gaze
  • Is not playing “pretend” with items (talking on toy phone, feeding a doll)
  • Does not play in proximity to other children

24 Months

  • No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating)
  • Does not follow simple two step commands such as “Get the ball and put it on the table”
  • Speech is not at least 50% understandable
  • Cannot point to pictures of items in books when asked

By 3 Years

  • Is not using three and four word sentences
  • Speech is not at least 75% or more understandable
  • Child is leaving the beginnings or ends off of most words
  • Cannot accurately answer yes/no questions
  • Cannot answer simple “wh” questions like “who is that” or “where is the truck”
  • Does not play with other children
  • Is experiencing stuttering behavior for more than 6 months

4-5 Years

  • Is not 90-100% understandable to strangers despite age appropriate articulation errors (may not be able to say /r, sh, ch, l, or th yet)
  • Is not consistently using 4+ word, complex  sentences
  • Is not asking a variety of questions to gain information (who, what, where, why and when)
  • Is having difficulty with grammar or pronoun use
  • Cannot tell a simple story on topic
  • Cannot follow simple two step directions
  • Has difficulty answering simple who, what, where and why questions
  • Is not yet able to name a few  letters, numbers, and rhyming words