When your child might need to be referred to Speech Therapy

When your child might need a referral to speech therapy.

Receptive (understanding of language)

  • Your child does not respond to their name
  • Your child does not follow age-level directions (1 step 18-24 months, 2 step related 24-30 months, 2 step unrelated 30-36 months).
  • Your child does not identify body parts or common objects/pictures
  • Your child has limited play with toys.

Expressive (spoken language)

  • Your child does not babble or jabber (0-18 mos.)
  • Your child is not able to combine words in phrases (24-36 mos.)
  • Your child uses words and/or phrases but is not functional in their language use.
  • Your child has a limited use of actions, adjectives and pronouns (27-36 mos.)
  • Your child expresses extreme frustration or negative behavior

Articulation/Speech (how clearly your child is understood)

  • Your child uses the same sound attempt for most words
  • Your child demonstrates labored speech or will grope for words.
  • Your child has a limited ability to combine syllables in words/phrases
  • Your child is unintelligible (24 mos. 50%, 36 mos. 80%)
  • Your child has delayed age-level sounds (p/b/m/n/t/d/h/w/y)
  • Your child’s vocal quality is nasally or raspy.


  • Your child drools a lot, shirt is wet, need to keep a bib on your child during non-meal times.
  • Your child keeps his/her mouth open (mouth breather)