Parents are usually aware when their child is struggling with speech or language or they will have a general feeling that their child isn’t at the same level as their peers.
I often ask parents if they have received services in the past and from the ones that say ‘no’ there is a theme to their responses. I’ve gotten a variety of ‘no’ including:
- my pediatrician says not to worry about it right now
- my child had a language delay before we moved but the doctor said they dont anymore
- I was told to wait, they will catch up
- I was told that I was a “late talker” so I didn’t need to worry.
This is such a frustrating theme for two reasons. The first is that many kids don’t catch up and for those kids early intervention is key. By being told to wait they are missing out on potentially a substantial amount of therapy and support. The second reason is that it is invalidating you as a parent and your concerns.
If you have concerns about your child’s speech or language, self refer to an SLP. Don’t wait especially because if you are accessing public systems (in and around Vancouver) the waitlists to see an SLP are usually a number of months. So if you put your concern on the back burner, by the time there is a problem, services are further delayed.
If you have concerns and it turns out that your child is where they are supposed to be that is great! It is better to know they are on track instead of waiting until the gap widens and they need more support.