When you have babies, you look forward to each milestone. Their first smile. Their first tooth or first steps. Their first words. I was so excited when my kiddos achieved all of those milestones but when it came to my son, there weren’t too many other words after the first one. If he wanted something he would usually grunt and point to what it was he wanted. He eventually started learning more words but it was hard for us to understand him and I felt awful because you could see his frustration build when he wasn’t able to communicate his needs.
Even when other moms would tell me that he would outgrow it or that he would be fine with time, I knew that there was an issue with his speech. I finally trusted my gut and had him tested. After a few tests, they called us in for a meeting and they confirmed he had a “speech disability”. I remember that day so clearly because it was tough hearing them say he had a “disability”. On the other hand, I was relieved that they had confirmed there was an issue because that meant I could get him the help he needed.
Early Screening of Speech Delays Matter.
I fully believe that since we were able to address the issue early on and he was able to get the help that he needed, he no longer has a speech delay (and hasn’t for over 2 years now). As an almost 10 year old boy, he is excelling in school (he received honor roll every semester last year) and doesn’t ever seem to stop talking, LOL.
This is why I believe that early screening of speech delays matter. Thankfully there are organizations like the FIRST WORDS® Project to help you screen your child(ren) and believe that the earlier you do it, the better. If you aren’t familiar with FIRST WORDS Project, it is a longitudinal research investigation in the Florida State University Autism Institute in the College of Medicine directed by Dr. Amy Wetherby. Their goal is to identify early signs of developmental language disorders, autism spectrum disorder, and other communication delays in children from 9 to 24 months of age. They also aim to improve screening tools and early detection of communications problems by emphasizing the role family plays in supporting child development.
If your child is between 9 and 18 months old, the FIRST WORDS Project will screen them for FREE and provide you with the results. They use a digital screening tool called the Smart ESAC (The Smart Early Screening for Autism and Communication Disorders) that allows parents to screen their infants and toddlers for skills that develop before children learn to talk like gestures, sounds, actions, etc.
Ready to get started? It’s easy! Simply visit their website.