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E.I.T. stands for Early Identification & Treatment.  EIT provides speech, language and hearing screenings at area preschools across Michiana.  The purpose of this program is to detect and identify problems with speech or hearing that could cause problems in the classroom for a child.  The EIT program than refers children into the appropriate treatment to address the issue early so the child does not experience learning set backs in pre-school, kindergarten and beyond.  Each year hundreds of children age 3-5 are screened by the Hearing & Speech Center.

Is your child kindergarten ready? 
by Elizabeth Ready

School learning is language based for all subjects including reading, writing and math. Children with delayed speech and language development or a disorder will have difficulty learning to read as well as comprehend what they read. Oral language development includes learning how to listen and understand language. It also includes vocabulary building and learning to express thoughts in an organized way, to learn to tell stories and to learn how to speak to others. Speech sounds are a part of the language system, and those children who require speech and auditory development, work on sound discrimination skills to improve phonemic awareness, an important skill for pre-literacy. Since speech and language therapy is important for children to be academically successful; when should a child be referred for a speech and language evaluation? Children in the age range of 1 year 6 months to 4 years 6 months need a speech and language evaluation if he or she is not demonstrating the following:
  • Young children at 18 months should be saying about 20 words, and attempting to put two word combinations together such as “go up”.   
  • By 24 months they should understand and use about 50 words. They should be putting two words together to make simple sentences such as “Mommy eat”, “Daddy go”.  
  • A 2 year old, when asked, should be identifying common objects and body parts such as eyes, ears, and nose.  They can follow simple two step commands (‘Please pick up the ball and give it to me.’). Between the ages of 2 and 3 these sounds have been typically developed: [m,p,b,h,w,n]. If a child is not easily putting two word combinations together by 21 – 25 months, a speech and language evaluation is recommended.                                                                                                                                                                            
  • During age 3, a child’s vocabulary will typically be 200 or more words.  Many children can put 3 or 4 words together in a sentence and they are understood by strangers at least 75% of the time. They can ask and answer simple questions. They are beginning to solve simple cause effect problems and are learning simple concepts. They know their own first and last name. By 3 years 6 months, these sounds have been typically developed [m,p,b,h,w,n,t,d,k,g,f]…though [k, and, g] may take about 6 months longer to develop. If it is too difficult to understand a child, or the child does not have enough words for his or her age to communicate, the child needs a speech and language evaluation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  • During age 4, a child’s vocabulary will typically be nearly 1500 words. Sentence length is 4-5 words in length and they begin to use complex sentences. The begin to use past tense (“I colored.”).  Uses “who?” and “why?” appropriately.  Uses contractions (“It’s a cat.” “I’m going.”).  By 4 years 6 months, the sounds listed above for age 2 and 3 should have been already developed.  In addition, the [y] sound develops; and the [g] sound [t] sounds stabilize.   So these sounds should be developed by age 4 years 6 months: [m,p,b,h,w,n,t,d,k,g,f,y].  In general, a child during age 4 is understood by most strangers.

Check out this video!

This video is a great example about the importance of early detection in speech delays. It is brought to you by AudiologyOnline.

Click hear to watch the video

The Hearing and Speech Center at United Health Services is able to provide screenings to the underserved for a reduced price with a grant from the United Way of St. Joseph County.



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