Father and child

Raising Concerns About Other Children

I’ve been there many times – an occupational hazard one might say… when I notice a speech or language delay with a friend’s child, or behaviours that might point to a variety of conditions I have seen over the years. It’s tricky even for me to mention possible issues to friends even as a Speech-Language Therapist, so I understand if you are not sure how to bring it up with your friend or family member!

“Grandparents, friends, or neighbors who are worried about a child’s speech and/or language development may hesitate to bring it up for fear of upsetting or offending a parent. While raising any concern to parents about their child is difficult, it is in a child’s best interest to have any speech and/or language issues identified and treated as early as possible.”

I always err on the side of the child. That is, I’d rather be wrong and embarrassed by sharing my concern than be right and not give a family the awareness of an issue that could be addressed.

Here are some do’s and don’ts when bringing up the possibility of speech and/or language difficulties that you might find helpful. This is an American article so instead of referring to ASHA (American Speech Hearing Association), please seek assessment from a NZ Speech & Language Therapist.