Even if you’re supermom, dealing with a toddler speech delay isn’t really something you can do on your own. I’ve know speech therapists who actually took their toddlers to OTHER speech therapists, just because it was too difficult to work with their own children in a professional capacity. I do have VERY good news for you, though: many resources for overcoming my son’s toddler speech delay didn’t cost me a single dime. Even better news: the resources I used are available to everyone, not just those in low income brackets. I’m going to share the free resources that I used for coping with a toddler speech delay, along with how to find help in your area.
Free Resources for Coping with a Toddler Speech Delay
Easter Seals Early Intervention Program: This was the first free resource that I used when I found out my toddler had a speech delay. My doctor actually recommended them. The Easter Seals has a variety of programs designed to help parents get an early start on coping with and, when possible, overcoming different types of disabilities. They came to my home and evaluated Jacob. Then they set me up with a wonderful woman who came out once a week to work with him. The services are covered either by insurance or by the state.
Educational Support Services- In Pennsylvania, we have something called Intermediate Units, or IU. The IU programs are educational support services that pick up after your child graduates out of Easter Seals services. They perform their own evaluation, then set you up with free services based on your child’s needs. Jacob did about a year of speech therapy with a licensed therapist through them. Again, it was once a week, but we met in her office. I’m not sure what it is called in other states, but if you contact your local school and ask them about services for special needs preschoolers, they should be able to help you. Many of these services are often carried through to elementary school.
Free Apps: iPads and smartphones weren’t around when Jacob was little. I did have a great Fisher Price keyboard and software for my computer that I started him on when he was about two that helped, though. Now, you have SO many options. Don’t limit yourself to toddler speech delay apps. Apps like Toddler Seek & Find or other interactive games give you the chance to get your toddler talking without the pressure of making it all about actually talking. Download a few cool ABC games, interactive books or other visually appealing apps that draw your toddler in.
Play Groups: Never underestimate the power of peers when it comes to helping overcome a toddler speech delay! I enrolled my son in preschool and it helped so much more than I can say. Obviously, that’s not free. Play groups, on the other hand, are free. Get your toddler around other kids his age and he’ll pick up their language skills. Trust me, it really does help.
Your Library: We shared some great books to help overcome a toddler speech delay, but you don’t have to rush out and buy all of them. Head to your local library and borrow instead. If they don’t have them, use your interlibrary loan system to request them from other libraries. You can also borrow fun books to read with your toddler to help develop his receptive language skills, something that really helped with my son.
These are just a few free resources to help cope with a toddler speech delay. Talk to your doctor or speech therapist about other options. One last resource that’s completely free: patience. It takes time for your toddler to overcome that speech delay, but it does happen. My son is nine and now he talks up a storm all the time. Usually it’s to ask me for money! So go ahead and use those free resources while you can, because kids just get more expensive as they get older!
Do you know of any free toddler speech delay resources that I missed? Also, if you know what the education support service is called in other states, I’d love you to share that in the comments for other readers!
20 thoughts on “What Free Resources Are There for Coping with a Toddler Speech Delay?”
Thank you for these resources, I had no idea. My son has problems with his speech.
Great tips for those with preschoolers! The picture of your little one is adorable!
Easter Seals helped nip my son’s speech delay early on. I wish they were around (or at least within my vicinity) when I was a child since it took YEARS before there was any improvement in my speech (I obviously didn’t have the right speech teachers).
I do know a toddler w/a delay. His parents are all over it though, and doing all they can do to help in the right ways.
These are great tips for those mother had toddlers, it’s good to know this great info.
This is an awesome post indeed and great information for parents that have child with speech delay. There is no shame in admitting either that you child has a speech delay. There is a lot of free help out there for child. Thanks for shairng.
Early intervention is so important for kids when there is a speech delay. I can’t imagine how frustrating it would be to not be able to tell some one what you want or need.
When parents are faced with these challenges, a wealth of resources, particularly free resources provide a bit of resolve.
I don’t remember this as a kid, of course – but apparently my parents thought I was speech delayed or deaf, because I headed off to Kindergarden and didn’t speak a word until after Christmas, because I thought all of my preschool friends were going to the same school as I was! I guess I was right ticked off!
I really love this list. I was worried for a while that my toddler was experiencing a speech delay. It turned out to be a false alarm, but it can be scary thinking something is out of your control as a parent.
What a great post. One of my friends is a speech pathologist and she holds music classes and play dates for kids of all abilities…it’s basically like group speech therapy classes. So awesome!
My toddler has apraxia which is a speech delay (motor planning). I have found another mother who has shared some wonderful ideas with me including posting pictures of everything to the wall and fridge where he can show me what he’s needing or wanting. His speech therapist is teaching him sign language, which can be learned without a therapist, if needed.
Here in NY, we have Early Intervention as well, and I called them when my daughter seemed a little delayed in her speech. It was honestly the best thing that could have happened to her, as the therapist suggest she go to an ENT,and we found out she was nearly deaf.
Early Intervention is what it is called in most states I believe. After the age of three (exactly on their birthday) , the school dept is responsible, at least in my state.
This is a great list of resources. I wish I had known about all these when I was going through this.
Thanks for compiling that list, great resources!
I didn’t realize there were so many free resources available. These are great tips.
The YMCA is a great location to learn about a ton of community resources, especially for children.
My parents are really worried about my DD3. She seems to have a bit of a studder when she gets excited or her brain works faster then her mouth (my theory!). Encouraging her to slow down and think about her sentence and all of the above suggestions seem to be making big improvements
These are great tips! I didn’t know these were available, though I’ve had friends who’ve kids have had speech delay. Thanks for sharing. :)