Calgary West Speech-Language Pathology

Calgary Speech-Language Pathology Blog

Answering important questions and supporting parents in the Speech-Language Journey 

Speech Therapy for Preschoolers: Does My Child Need Speech Therapy?

A speech pathologist points to her mouth while her client does the same holding a mirror.

Parents know their children best, so if they are wondering IF your toddler or preschooler needs speech therapy, there is usually a good reason! SO, when parents call me, instead of asking specific questions like “well, how many words does he have?” I like to listen and let parents describe their kids to me. This lets me know what their concerns are and how I can help.

Often parents say something along the lines of “when hanging out with other parents and other kids, we notice that our child seems behind the others.” This is when the panic kicks in as parents and we worry, gosh do we worry. Instead of going down the google rabbit hole, oh wait, here you are, ha!…..come see a speech-language pathologist! We are here to support you!

Here are some signs that your child might benefit from a Speech Therapy Assessment to determine IF they need speech therapy…

  • Speech is not being understood by others
    Generally, very little kids can be tricky to understand. They say “ba” for ball, sheep, bottle and bye. This is part of normal speech development. However, as a general rule, we say kids should be understood by unfamiliar people (think about that Uncle that doesn’t come by very often) at least half the time when they are 2 years old, ~75% of the time by the time they are 3 years old and most of the time by 4 years old. If you find yourself and other people that see your child often appearing confused when your littles are chatting away, then getting a speech-therapy evaluation is a good idea.
  • Not using enough words
    There is quite a variety in the development of talking in our youngest talkers (ages 1-2) but we definitely like to see kids having at least 50 words by age 2 and starting to put two words together, such as “more milk” and “bye mommy.” Keep in mind that according to the new CDC milestones, this is noted in 50% of kids at age 2. So long story short, speech therapy can be super helpful to help these littles catch up on these milestones. The “wait and see” approach is not ideal.
  • Stuttering
    There is something called developmental stuttering, meaning that it can be part of typical speech-language development. However, as parents, when we see our preschoolers getting stuck on words, we want to help! It is always a good idea to get an evaluation and get strategies to support your kids at home. We can help!
  • Frustration
    Parents call me saying their kids are pointing, grunting and getting so frustrated because they can’t communicate! I get it! I would also be frustrated if I could not communicate something important to me such as my Starbucks order! Also, everything is important to toddlers…..that kleenex box, tiny crumb on the floor or the bird that flew by the window! If the language is not there to share their message, it is incredibly annoying for them. Speech therapy can provide many strategies that not only support getting more language which also helps to reduce the frustration.


Bottom line….if you have any concerns at all, get an assessment! Trust your “parent gut” and find an SLP who can support your family. Speech therapy can give you the tools you have been looking for and support your toddler’s speech-language development!

If you would like to book an assessment at CWSLP, we would love to see you! Fill out the
intake form on the website and we will be in touch to book you an appointment