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Better Speech and Hearing Month – Identify the Signs
by Abby Sakovich M.S., CCC-SLP
May is “Better Speech and Hearing Month,” a month dedicated to raising awareness about communication disorders and the professionals who treat them. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) campaign, Identify the Signs, seeks to help parents recognize signs of speech, language, and hearing disorders and find the help needed to address these disorders.
Signs of a Language Disorder
Age Range Sign
• 2-3 months & Up Does not smile/interact with others
• 4-7 months does not babble ("bababa")
• 7-12 months very few sounds or gestures (pointing)
• 7 months - 2 years poor comprehension of what others say
• 1 1/2 - 2 years all speech is difficult for familiar listeners to understand
• 1 1/2 - 3 years does not combine words into sentences
• 2 - 3 years difficulty talking to and playing with peers
• 2 1/2 - 3 years difficulty with early literacy and pre-writing skills
Signs of a Speech Sound Disorder
Age Range Sign
• by age 3 incorrect production of early sounds /p,b,m,h, w/ in words
• by age 4 incorrect production of /k,g,f,t,d,n/ in words
• by age 5 speech is unclear, even to familiar listeners
Signs of a Stuttering Disorder
Age Range Sign
• 2 1/2 - 3 years difficulty producing sounds or words
• 2 1/2 - 3 years repeats the first sound of words (b-b-b-baby for “baby”)
• 2 1/2 - 3 years frequent pauses of silence when talking
• 2 1/2 - 3 years stretching sounds out while talking (sssss-silly for “silly”)
Signs of a Voice Disorder
Age Range Sign
• any age hoarse- or breathy-sounding voice
• any age nasal quality to voice
Signs of a Hearing Problem
Age Range Sign
• birth - 1 year poor attention to sounds in the environment
• 7 months - 1 year does not respond when name is called
• 1 - 2 years difficulty following simple directions
• birth - 3 years delays in speech and/or language development
• any age scratching or pulling at ears
• school-age limited academic progress, especially math and/or reading
• school-age social isolation and unhappiness at school
• school-age discomfort in ears after exposure to loud noise
If you think your child may have problems with speech, language, or hearing… Do not hesitate to ask your child’s pediatrician about an evaluation from a certified Speech- Language Pathologist or Audiologist. If your child is school-age, discuss your concerns with his/ her teacher. Identifying a communication disorder early plays a key role in how soon effective and appropriate treatment can take place.
Identify the Signs of Communication Disorders by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Retrieved 4/13/2017 from

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