The Doctors TV Show brought on a mother named Georgia and her daughter Angela, who mumbles when she speaks and talks very loudly. Georgia told The Drs that she tries to get her to talk less loudly, but is not very successful at that. Angela also has trouble pronouncing the letter “R” and Georgia is concerned since her daughter is four and a half years old. Georgia came on The Drs TV Show to find out if her daughter will grow out of these speech issues, or if there is something bigger at play.
The Doctors: Child Speech Problems
Dr Jim Sears said that most of the time when a parent comes in worried about their child’s speech development, it is just that the parental expectations are too advanced – and some of this comes from the Internet and parents feeling competitive about their kids. Generally speaking, Early Talkers are an exception and not the rule.
The Drs TV: Speech Pathologist
Angela went with her mother to see Rachelle Moore, CCC-SLP who is a Speech Pathologist and the Director of Speech and Hearing Services. Moore used the following three tools to evaluate if Angela had a speech problem:
1. Parent Interview
First, Rachelle Moore asked Georgia if she noticed any unusual sounds when Angela spoke – like a hoarseness or if she loses her voice towards the end of sentences. Georgia said that Angela is extremely loud when she speaks and it is hard to understand what she is saying.
2. Articulation Test
Second, Moore did an Articulation Test with Angela where she would show her different pictures of objects and would ask her to say the word of the object shown in the image. Moore listened to the sounds being made, which is different depending on the child’s age and whether the kid is a girl or a boy.
3. Diagnostic Video Games for Speech
Third, Moore looked at Angela’s voice frequency and loudness with a Diagnostic Video Game that was fun but also taught Angela how to control the loudness of her own voice.
The Doctors TV: Sound Tour
Dr Jim Sears said that Rachelle Moore concluded that Angela’s speech is totally normal for her age. Girls sometimes have problems with “r” sounds and “th” sounds until they are 6-7 years old. Dr Sears did say that since Angela speaks so loudly, it would be worth seeing an ENT to make sure that no Vocal Chord Nodules are forming, because she is creating a lot of tension at those higher pitches, which is typical for a 4-year-old but you do not want her to damage her voice. A great way to help your kids not speak so loudly is to teach them about an Inside Voice vs an Outside Voice.
Dr Jim Sears said that he likes to take his children on a Sound Tour which is where he goes around his house and picks things that are words that makes sounds your child needs to work on. For example, if your child needs help with the sound “t” you can pick up “Timmy” the alarm clock and say something like “T-T-T-T- Timmy says time to get up!” Or if your child needs help with the sound “v” then you can say “Vicki the airplane goes V-V-V-V- Vroooom” and have your child repeat after you.