Monthly Archives

October 2016

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Late Talkers

We see many “late talkers” in our speech clinic. The parents often ask about the cause behind late talking and have many questions, so I’m going to write a short blog post on late talking. Late talkers literally means they’re starting to talk late. Sometimes it’s due to a underlying medical problem and sometimes we don’t know the cause. In my experience when we have a late talker with no disabilities, there is usually a trend of late talking in the family. This child may have a sibling, parent, aunt, or uncle who was also a late talker.

I recently listened to a presentation by Dr. Stephen Camarata who specializes in this subject and I’m going to summarize his views on late talking on here. On average words come in around 12 months; although many kids say their first words earlier. We are usually concerned about kids and see them for speech therapy when their first words come in around 16-18 months. By the age of 2, kids typically know at least 100 words and start combining words to form sentences.


Do all late talkers need treatment? Research shows that if you select 100 late talkers at the age of 24 months (if
everything else is okay) the majority (50-70%) catch up by 3. Late talking by itself is not a consistent predictor of
developmental disability or even long term language ability. Some kids have the language but they’re waiting to activate it; meanwhile some of these kids are focusing on their visual spatial development
Is late talking a symptom of something else? As Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP), this is our
job to figure out. Parents should be looking to speak with an SLP if the kid is talking late to make sure there is not a problem that
is going to persist. You can ask your pediatrician to refer you to an SLP. The reason behind the late talking could be a communication disorder, an intellectual
disability, or autism spectrum disorders.Communication disorder
-Phonological/Speech/Articulation Disorder
-Language Disorder (Expressive and
-Social Communication/Pragmatic
-Intellectual Disability
slow learning
-Delayed onset of language and slow
rates of language acquisition (Many children with Down Syndrome have slow
learning along all domains)
-Autism Spectrum Disorder
motivation for social communication
behavior and restricted interestsFor more information on speech and language disorders, please visit the ASHA website.

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The Importance of Joining Your State’s Speech and Hearing Association

I just attended my state’s annual speech, language, and hearing association’s conference last week and my brain is still overflowing with new information and therapy ideas. Sitting through the sessions I attended, I couldn’t help but think about the importance of joining your state’s speech, language, and hearing association. Just being able to attend your state’s annual conference is a reason alone. I was able to attend a variety of presentations given by amazing speakers covering topics that would help me develop and grow as an SLP.  I attended presentations on a variety of topics ranging from childhood apraxia of speech, to AAC, to differentiating auditory and language processing, and collaborative literacy strategies just to name a few. Our field is ever changing so it is important to stay on top of what the most current evidence based practices are. What I loved the most about attending this conference was that I was able to return to work on Monday and implement some of the new strategies I learned right away. Plus if you’re a member for your state’s association, you don’t have to pay for ASHA CEUs and State Clock hours (at least in Washington)!
Now you may be thinking, I am already a member of ASHA so it’s not important to join my state’s association but that is definitely not the case. Becoming a member of your state’s association not only helps to pay for the annual conference which brings in a vast array of presenters but it also helps to pay to have a representative lobbying for current issues regarding SLPs in that state. These issues often have to do with medicaid billing, health insurance, and issues affecting SLPs in schools.
Joining your state’s association also serves as a way to connect with other SLPs in your state. Not only was I was able to reconnect with my previous professors but I was also able to chat with multiple SLPs from districts around the state. I find it informative being able to talk to other SLPs in my state regarding service delivery models, caseloads, and other issues. It is also nice to hear from other SLPs how they like their school districts just in case I ever had to make a move.
Are you a current member of your state’s speech, language, and hearing association? If not, I would highly considering joining. Just attend your state’s annual conference to see the many benefits of joining!