Will my child ‘grow out of it’?

There is a normal pattern of development that children go through when learning to communicate. As part of this process, there are mistakes a child will make that are typical and you can expect these to disappear as he/she develops. However, if there is a specific and unusual communication problem, then it is very unlikely that the child will simply ‘grow out of it’.

Sometimes a typical error pattern persists for longer than expected (called a ‘delay’) and this to will usually need some treatment to ensure that it does not impact on other areas of development. A good example of this would be a 5 year old child who says ‘d’ for ‘s’ so instead of ‘sun’ they say ‘dun’. This is a typical error pattern called ‘stopping’ but it usually disappears by about 3 years. If left untreated, a 5 year old who is starting to learn to read and write at school will most likely have difficulty with spelling because they will sound out words like ‘sun’ as ‘d-u-n’.

If your child has a communication problem, it is better to get help from a speech & language therapist sooner rather than later. There are various ways to do this; you can speak to your health visitor or GP to access services through the NHS or you can check the ASLTIP website for details of your local independent speech & language therapists.