Lets Talk About Toddler Talk

Oshiolema is a really smart kid. Super smart, actually. He started asking questions at 21 months and has grown more curious by the day! But as his vocabulary grew, it seemed that his annunciation stayed the same. And now, at 3.5 years old, he has a few speech struggles we’re working to address. My question is, what age is the right age to address speech?Thankfully, my angel of a sister-in-law is a speech pathologist and works at this amazing place here in Dallas called Let’s Talk for kids. They had a fun week-long camp this summer to make learning dictation fun. So much fun, in fact, that when I asked Oshiolema what he’d learned at the end of the day he’d say, “Mom, I wasn’t learning anything. I was just playing!” After the initial evaluation for the camp I was informed that while his vocabulary was off the charts at a 10+, his articulation was around a 3.

Between growing up with 6 siblings, being among the oldest of countless cousins and nannying for the entirety of my youth, I know kids have lots of funny ways of saying things. I’ve always seen kids grow out of it as they grew up so I didn’t think too much of his “yewwow” (yellow) and his fider man (spider man,) but I started to notice other kids having a harder time understanding him. As his mom I can understand everything he says, but I was hearing other kids ask him to repeat himself over and over to the point where he’d eventually just give up. One speech struggle is no problem, but we’re working with a “th” “l” “r” and “sp” challenge and that makes things a bit tricky.

I’m happy to report that after a week of speech camp, he can say his “l’s” with no problem and is super excited about it! I want him to have freedom in conversation and feel confident with friends, so I’m thinking of starting speech therapy now at 3.5 years old. I’d love to know, is it too early? Have you walked this out too? What did you find most helpful for those tricky “sp” sounds and of course, the “r?” I’d love all the advice you have to give for me and this cool dude.

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Comments (6)

  • Amanda Filler 3 months ago Reply

    It’s never too early! My kid has a lot of words too and struggles with pronunciation. He’s been in speech therapy since he was 2 years old so seven months now and he’s doing great!! We alternate 1-2 times per week. Make sure you find a really good therapist that your kid likes and they think it’s fun that helps a lot!

    I say go for it! You’ve got nothing to lose!

    Jill 3 months ago Reply

    This is super helpful. Thank you!!

  • Kimberly 3 months ago Reply

    Ironically my husband and I were just discussing starting speech therapy for our two year old. He communicates very well just not with words. He does have a handful of words down but still mostly uses baby gibberish. We’re wondering if he’s struggle to form the sounds? Nevertheless, we were told we could start with him at two so I think Oshiolema should be able to start now.

    Jill 3 months ago Reply

    That’s great! If it’s encouraging, my son went to “speech camp” for one week and it’s already made SUCH a tremendous difference!

  • Cindy Chen 3 months ago Reply

    Both my girls have needed speech therapy and it was a lifesaver!
    I was personally offended when my preschool after a screening for my older was called “unintelligible” by the speech language pathologist. Then I learned that only meant that for a stranger, they just couldn’t understand a large percentage of what she said. Which was true.
    So she was in speech therapy her entire school year of being in “4-prek” and made great strides.
    My younger daughter didn’t get the same early intervention but she’s in speech now with the SLP at her elementary school. I’m thankful that the public school system has these tools in place to help us where we don’t have the expertise ourselves.

    Jill 3 months ago Reply

    This is so helpful! Thank you so much!!

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