If you ever had that nagging thought at the back of your mind, a concern that never seems to go away despite people's reassurances... Then chances are, you are probably right about that gut feeling.
What can you do if you have that persistent nagging thought?
Knowing the speech and language developmental milestones and the corresponding warning signs can help track your child's progress. Read about it here.
Why you should reconsider to "wait and see"
1. Early intervention is the best predictor of positive outcomes
Notice the shift in emphasis of many countries towards early intervention in recent years? How babies, toddlers and preschool children get pirority for access in public services and that privilege tapers off once they hit Primary 1? This is largely due to the recognition of the impact of early intervention and how it gives us the best chances for change.
2. No one knows if your child will eventually outgrow the problem
Your child might just be a late bloomer (i.e. achieving milestones slightly slower than the peers but will eventually catch up). However, there is also a percentage of children that will go on to be diagnosed with a speech and language delay, continue to lag behind their peers and may always be playing catch up. Early intervention is a way to prevent this from occurring.
3. Strong language abilities set the foundation for future academic skills
Language abilities are important for the development of skills needed in school, e.g. oral, reading, writing and math (which is now largely language-based). An undetected language delay will see a child struggling in school.
4. There might be a long waiting list for services
Even after getting a referral from your GP or Paediatirician, there could be a waiting list before you get an appointment to see the Speech and Language Therapist. While the waiting time has cut down significiantly in recent years, it could still range from weeks to months before your child can be seen particularly if seeking public services.
Speak to a certified Speech and Language Therapist who is registered with the Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC). He/She should be able to get a rough idea about your child even through a quick phone chat and can advise you accordingly.
Remember that YOU know your child BEST, and therefore the BEST ADVOCATE for your child if you feel that something is not right!