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.