WHEN SHOULD I SEEK OUT A SPEECH THERAPIST?
- Speech Delays
- Developmental Delays
- Articulation Concerns
- Difficulty during mealtimes
- Difficulty with eating and swallowing
- Bottle-feeding and breastfeeding trouble
- If you believe your child might present with a tongue or lip tie
- Therapy Guidance following a Frenulectomy or Frenectomy tongue or lip procedure
WHAT ARE SPEECH DELAYS?
Speech delays, also known as alalia, refer to a delay in the development or use of speech mechanisms by young children. Speech delays can manifest in a child’s expression of language, a child’s understanding of language, or a child’s pronunciation of language.
WHAT ARE DEVELOPMENTAL DELAYS?
A developmental delay occurs when a child has not gained the appropriate developmental skills expected of him or her, compared to other children of the same age. These delays may occur in the areas of motor function, speech and language, cognition, and social skills.
Some examples of developmental delays are:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder,
- Cerebral Palsy,
- Down Syndrome,
- Genetic Disorders,
- Intellectual Disorders.
WHAT ARE ARTICULATION DISORDERS?
Articulation disorders occur when a child experiences difficulty producing specific sounds. Many times, articulation disorders can be masked by mumbling. However, parents often realize that they are having trouble understanding what their child is saying.
WHAT ARE SOME SIGNS OF DIFFICULTIES AT MEAL TIME?
- Picky eating
- Slow Eating, Grazing throughout the day
- Pocketing food in the cheeks like a chipmunk
- Difficulty transitioning to solid foods
- Trouble gaining weight
- Choking or Gagging on Food
- Spitting out food
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY INFANT IS HAVING TROUBLE WITH FEEDING AND SWALLOWING?
- Milk dribbling when drinking from a bottle
- Painful latch when nursing
- Colicky symptoms
- Difficulty with transition to solid food
- Poor weight gain
- Lots of spit up
WHAT IS A TONGUE TIE?
Tongue ties, also called Ankyloglossia, are a condition present in up to one-third of children at birth and restrict the tongue’s range of motion. Tongue ties occur when an unusually strong band of tissue tethers the tongue to the floor of the mouth, and this can interfere with breastfeeding, eating, swallowing and speaking in children.
WHAT IS A LIP TIE?
Lip ties occur when the tissue connecting the upper lip to the gums is too tight, too thick, or both, potentially causing issues with lip mobility.
TONGUE TIE VS. LIP TIE
- Notched tongue baby, or heart shaped tongue baby
- Difficulty sticking out tongue beyond teeth
- Difficulty lifting tongue or moving it from side to side
- Tongue tie in newborns and infants often cause breastfeeding issues
- Tongue tie in toddlers often causes issues with eating, swallowing, speaking, and brushing teeth
- Can be seen in adults if tongue tie did not cause childhood issues
- Usually found in newborns and infants
- Often causes breastfeeding issues
- Common signs of lip tie:
- Newborn won’t latch
- Baby experiencing gas or colic
- Slow or low weight gain
- Baby fatigued when nursing begins
- Can trap milk, causing dental decay
HOW TO TELL IF BABY IS TONGUE OR LIP TIED
Although tongue ties and lip ties can be difficult to directly and visually identify for parents, there are many common symptoms of the conditions. Some of the primary ones are:
- Difficulty breastfeeding
- Nipple pain breastfeeding
- Damage to breast due to breastfeeding issues
- Difficulty feeding
- Trouble with speech
- Trouble with sleep
- Mouth breathing
- Acid reflux
Often, many of these symptoms can present together and make basic life functions very challenging for the child and family.
HOW CAN A SPEECH THERAPIST HELP?
At Talk About Therapy we want you to know you are not alone.
WHEN SHOULD I SEEK HELP/EVALUATION?
If you are concerned:
- If you have noticed one or more of any the behaviors discussed, contact us for a consultation or evaluation. For more detailed red flags you can look for in your infant or child, please click here.
- If you suspect a tongue or lip tie may be interfering with your child’s eating or weight gain, we can refer you to expert providers of intervention procedures such as a Frenulectomy or Frenectomy tongue procedure. Our trusted experts can provide you with the information you need to decide if this route is best for your child.
- If you suspect a tongue or lip tie could be interfering with your child’s ability to clearly communicate, we can help you decide whether or not a Frenulectomy or Frenectomy tongue procedure would be beneficial. We can also provide speech therapy for kids or speech therapy for toddlers to teach your child exercises and speaking strategies to compensate for the difference in their lip or tongue.
WHAT IS EARLY INTERVENTION AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Why early intervention and identification are crucial for your child’s progress and development:
- Whenever a child shows signs of difficulty communicating, understanding, or being understood, research recommends that the earlier a child is evaluated and receives services the better. The younger the child, the easier it is for their brain to learn and adapt to the techniques taught in therapy. To learn about communication milestones to look for in your child, click here.
- Difficulties involving swallowing and feeding could affect your child’s nutrition. We recommend seeking help as soon as you are aware of any concerns.
We can help!
If you are experiencing or observing one or more of any of these breastfeeding issues or feeding, swallowing, or communication difficulties in your child, please visit our services page to learn more about how our licensed experts can assist your child and family.