At Silver Linings, we provide speech therapy and evaluations for children at risk or showing signs of disorders regarding voice, speech, language, feeding, swallowing, social skills, and more.

If you have not previously been exposed to common speech disorders, you may have difficulty determining if your child or teen is at risk. Keep reading to learn more information about the various types of language difficulties that we offer treatment for in our clinic.


There is no specific cause of speech delay. According to ASHA, the causes of late language emergence (LLE) are not known, but there are multiple variables and risk factors that increase the likelihood of a speech delay.

Children who were born premature or present with delayed motor development are more likely to present with speech delay. There is also a family component! If a child’s parent or parents presented with a speech delay, it is more likely that the child will also struggle with a delay. The presence of siblings can also increase the likelihood of presenting with a speech delay.

A lesser known but significant risk factor today includes the use of screen media use. Research has shown that the use of devices for reasons other than video chatting for children younger than 18 months is associated with low language scores and speech delays.

Other risk factors include cognitive delays, certain genetic disorders, and autism.

Regardless of the underlying cause, early evaluation and intervention are essential for helping children overcome any potential obstacles to normal language development

Intervention can be essential for helping a child overcome any potential obstacles when striving to develop language abilities. Activities that enhance language learning include using visuals such as books or flashcards, teaching sign language, and using repetition to emphasize specific and meaningful words. Establishing a daily routine for practice also helps children become accustomed to the sound and structure of language. It is recommended that parents be patient and supportive, adjust the type of words they use regularly, and set realistic expectations expressed in an age-appropriate manner. Speech therapists are available to guide the process, so do not hesitate to reach out if assistance is needed.


It is important to evaluate speech delays in children early on. Signs of speech or language delays may include not speaking as much or at all, making fewer sounds than other children their age, having trouble imitating sounds, and having difficulty forming simple words correctly. If your child's speech and language development seem to be significantly delayed, or you suspect your child has a language disorder, it is wise to get them evaluated by a speech-language pathologist. A speech-language pathologist can determine the severity of the delay and create an individualized treatment plan. Generally speaking, children should be evaluated when they are between 12 and 18 months old if there is any concern about their language development. Children would benefit from regular evaluations every 6 months to a year after their initial evaluation to update their language scores. Early intervention can help avoid further complications and ensure your child reaches language milestones on time.

Click the button to see a chart to determine skills your child may be expected to perform at his/her age.

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If you observe speech difficulties or language delays in your child, you can pursue speech therapy. Our office offers private speech therapy, which is performed in our office and works on your child's specific therapy goals that will be developed following a speech delay evaluation.

Early Intervention Services may be available to you if your child falls between the ages of birth to 3 years. A speech therapist, doctor, or teacher can recommend you for services specifically for speech and language disorders. You can also pursue them yourself. Click here for more details.

If you notice any signs of a speech delay in your child, it is important to seek professional advice as soon as possible. A qualified speech-language pathologist will be able to assess whether or not there is a significant language delay and create an individualized treatment plan. If your child gets evaluated and is diagnosed with a speech development disorder, the following steps are recommended:

  • Work with your child's speech-language pathologist to understand the specific nature of their condition
  • Create a structured environment at home, including creating consistent routines and speech development opportunities for practice.
  • Focus on encouraging communication among family members and social interactions with peers so your child can practice their language skills in different situations.
  • Encourage sound production activities such as singing, listening to music, and playing sound-based games that target receptive and expressive speech and language development.
  • Provide appropriate feedback and avoid criticism when interacting with your child during language activities.
  • Be patient with your child's progress; even small speech milestones should be celebrated.


An evaluation for speech or language delays is usually in a very relaxed setting. Our clinic offers 2 forms of testing that are preferred for identifying speech and language delays. Prepare to be present in the room with your child because the therapist will ask you questions regarding medical history and other developmental milestones. The therapist will have various toys to engage your child in play and perform testing. Testing length will vary depending on your child's ability to participate, but sessions typically don't exceed an hour.

Clinicians Providing These Services:
Megan Crisler Megan Zecher