When we meet families for the first time in our Speech Pathology clinics, oftentimes we’ll be asked this question: ‘Will my child grow out of it?’. While it’s a question that’s only natural to ask, it’s also one that comes with an answer that’s quite complex.
If you’re a parent, caregiver, or family member wondering if the little one that you’re caring for will grow out of the communication challenges they’re facing, this article is for you.
To Begin: An Important Note
Speech Pathologists support clients of all ages with a variety of challenges that impact their speech, language, swallowing and feeding, voice and even social interactions. That’s a whole lot of different things that we can help with! Because of this, it’s important to remember when asking if your child will grow out of what they’re currently facing, that the answer largely depends on their diagnosis, the severity of their condition, and the frequency or ‘dose’ of therapeutic intervention.
Will My Child Grow Out of their Speech or Language Difficulties?
Oftentimes we will meet parents and families who have a little one that isn’t talking as much as expected (or at all). In these cases, parents may have looked at milestone charts and noticed that their little one is behind where they should be – but wonder if perhaps this is something they will outgrow. The ‘wait and see’ approach can be tempting, but it’s important to consider the research on the subject before you take that path. According to research in this area, 40-50% of typically developing children who are late to start talking do not catch up to other children without speech-language intervention.
Aside from the numbers, it’s also worth considering the fact that there are a lot of different factors that can impact whether your little one is using speech (verbal communication) and acquiring language (vocabulary). Getting to the bottom of the situation with the help of a Speech Pathologist will help to set your child up for success and allow them to effectively communicate and advocate for themselves now and into the future. Learn more about the difference between speech and language delays here.
Will My Child Grow Out of ADHD, DLD, or other diagnosis?
This next answer is a little more complicated. As a team of passionate Speech Pathologists, we have supported countless families on their journey to receiving a diagnosis and working through approaches to best support their child to thrive. In these scenarios, where you are given a diagnosis of a condition such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) or any other disorder, the impacts are most often a result of neurological differences that cannot be changed or ‘grown out of’.
For more information on specific conditions or diagnoses, take a look at our other helpful articles on;
With the proper supports, therapeutic interventions, and meaningful therapy goals we can work with you and your little one to strengthen the skills they need to effectively communicate, advocate for themselves and participate in school and extra-curricular activities. We’ll be able to build upon your child’s strengths and confidence so they can proudly shout to the world who they are.
What Should I Do if I Notice a Delay?
If you’ve kept an eye on the milestone charts for speech and language development and you’ve noticed your little one is starting to fall behind, it’s always encouraged to seek support early on. Early Intervention is one of the best things we can do to help little ones with speech or language delays and here in Australia, there is Early Intervention funding available through the NDIS.
Following an assessment from a certified practicing Speech Pathologist, a formal diagnosis and treatment recommendations for speech or language difficulties may be made. Treatment options might look like speech therapy sessions once or twice a week with home practice activities to help your child make better progress or it might be more parent coaching based to teach you the strategies we would use so you no longer need us involved. For more information on the important role parents and caregivers play in speech therapy, read our helpful blog.
Speech therapy for children looks different depending on the individual’s needs and can even be completed via telehealth if you’re in a rural area! For more information on what speech therapy for children looks like (especially here in Queensland, Australia) head over here.
We hope you’ve found this article useful in your search for answers on how best to support your little one. For more information on how we at SpeechEase support families with Speech Pathology services, take a look at our Speech Therapy for Kids page.
If you’re looking for a Speech Pathologist but you’re not based in Queensland, head over to the Speech Pathology Australia website to find a local clinic to support you and your loved one.