Free Guide: Does my child need speech therapy?

Not sure if your child aged 0-6 needs to see a speech therapist or not?

This free checklist, from the paediatric speech pathologists at Kids First Children’s Services in Brookvale, is an excellent resource for parents and teachers. Get it below… and if you need more information, please call us on (02) 9938 5419.Free Guide: When should I take my child to speech therapy


 Refer to a speech therapist if your child…

12 months

  • Does not respond to own name
  • Uses little or no babble, single words or gestures
  • Displays little or no understanding of single words or language in context
  • Shows no evidence of early symbolic play e.g. peek-a-boo, using everyday objects in play and relating to self
  • Has little interaction with adults (either verbal or non-verbal)

18 months

  • Makes limited attempts to communicate needs by any means (words, gestures, vocalisations)
  • Is not developing single words or jargon
  • Does not understand everyday words unless supported by context/gesture
  • Shows little or no evidence of symbolic play. (At this age, children should be relating objects together e.g. brushing mummy’s hair and making a cup of tea)

24 months

  • Has poor or fleeting attention
  • Uses single words but only vowel sounds or a very limited range of consonants
  • Uses few or no words
  • Has no understanding of simple commands/single words (with no cues)
  • Shows little or no evidence of symbolic play. (At this age, children should be playing with small and miniature objects and relating them together.)
  • Is not interested in sharing attention with familiar adults

30 months

  • Only plays fleetingly with toys
  • Speaks in a way that is unintelligible to familiar adults
  • Still only uses single words, no two word combinations developing
  • Pits words into the wrong order when using longer phrases
  • Only understands single words
  • Only interacts with familiar adults on their own terms

36 months

  • Has poor attention and listening
  • Speaks in a way that is unintelligible to familiar adults
  • Cannot pronounce ‘t’, ‘d’, ‘k’ or ‘g’ correctly
  • Shows no evidence of a developing ability to pronounce ‘s’ and ‘f’ sounds
  • Regularly omits sounds at the beginning or end of words
  • Does not join more than 2 words together and/or little progress made
  • Puts words in incorrect order when using longer phrases
  • Is still heavily dependent on context and/or gesture when understanding speech
  • Does not understand early concepts such as ‘big’/‘little’
  • Has limited understanding of emotions

48 months

  • Uses incorrect grammar in sentences
  • Struggles to find the right word
  • Regularly gives incorrect responses to questions
  • Regularly omits or uses incorrect sounds (does not use sh, ch or j)

5 years +

  • Pronounces speech sounds incorrectly
  • Is unable to explain events so the listener has a clear idea of what happened
  • Displays poor social interaction with peers
  • Cannot maintain meaningful conversation on a range of topics
  • Is often confused when instructions are given individually or to the whole class

Need speech therapy for your child?

Kids First’s experienced team of paediatric speech pathologists can help!

We’re located in Brookvale and offer great advice and fun speech therapy for which you can claim rebates on your health fund and Medicare.

Read more about what we do here and contact us on (02) 9938 5419 to make an appointment for your child.

We’re here to support you and your child - no matter what.

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