ABS Expansion into Southern California

Alternative Behavior Strategies, Inc. has recently expanded into Southern California. It has taken some time to get established but, we are happy to report, that treatment options are alive and well.


Find us on google maps

Our main office, in Rancho Cucamonga, is easy to locate and access. However, all services- from the Intake Assessment to ABA Treatment are available in home and community settings.

Many families have been waiting for us to vendor with Inland Regional Center and San Diego Regional Center. We are happy to announce that this is finally complete and services are available. (Other major insurances are also accepted). Please fill out the interest form on our Service Page.

We have been attending local events to reach out to children and families in the community. We recently attended RUSD Special Needs Fair in Riverside, CA and ran into some of our new families! The area is heavily populated but the community is tightly knit and involved in services and programs. We have had a wonderful time getting to know people in this area!


Psychotherapy at ABS

(by Melissa Snyder)


Therapy works to:

• Understand the behaviors, emotions, and ideas that contribute to depression and/or anxiety.
• Understand and identify the life problems or events — like a major illness, a death in the family, a loss of a job or life issues such as divorce that can lead to depression.
• Restructure ways of thinking, negative attributes and attitudes someone has about himself/herself, and ways in which faulty thinking may perpetuate depression
• Regain a sense of control and pleasure in life
• Learn coping techniques and problem-solving skills
• Learn coping skills such as distraction, relaxation, non-judgment and acceptance and how to apply them in your daily life.

Psychodynamic Therapy for Depression and Anxiety
Psychodynamic therapy because of unresolved, generally unconscious conflicts, often stemming from childhood. The goal of this type of therapy is for the patient to understand and cope better with these feelings by talking about the experiences. Psychodynamic therapy is administered over a period of weeks to months to years.
Solution Focused Therapy for Depression and Anxiety
Interpersonal therapy focuses on the behaviors and interactions a depressed patient has with family, friends, co-workers, and other important people encountered on a day-to-day basis. The primary goal of this therapy is to improve communication skills and increase self-esteem during a short period of time. It usually lasts three to four months and works well for depression caused by loss and grief interpersonal conflicts, major life events, social isolation, or role transitions (such as becoming a mother or a caregiver).
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) includes several different approaches to therapy, all of which focus on how thinking affects the way a person feels and acts. The idea of cognitive behavioral therapy is that you can change your way of thinking about a situation, and when you do, you also change the way you feel and act. As a result, you can feel better, and behave differently in response to life stresses, even when the situation stays the same.
While other approaches to therapy rely heavily on analyzing and exploring people’s relationship with the world around them, the focus of CBT is on learning. The therapist functions in many ways similar to a teacher. He or she guides the client through the process of learning how to change his or her way of thinking and then how to act on that learning. Because there is a specific goal and a process for arriving at it, CBT is often more narrowly focused. It also is typically completed in less time than other therapies.
Two examples of different types of CBT are:
• Rational emotive behavior therapy or REBT. REBT focuses on the way emotions affect thinking and actions. It helps the client recognize that the intensity of negative emotions can change the quality of his or her thinking. The result is often overreaction and loss of perspective. The emphasis of therapy then is on learning how to restore emotional balance by thinking more realistically about situations.

• Dialectical behavior therapy or DBT. DBT emphasizes the validity of a person’s behavior and feelings and reassures the individual that those feelings and behaviors are understandable. At the same time, it encourages the individual to understand that the responsibility for changing unhealthy or disruptive behavior is his or her own.

Therapeutic Play Therapy is a well established discipline based upon a number of psychological theories. Research, shows that it is highly effective in many cases. According to PTI, 71% of children referred to play therapy will show positive change.

A safe, confidential and caring environment is created which allows the child to play with as few limits as possible but as many as necessary for safety. This allows healing to occur on many levels. Play and creativity for children operate on impulses from outside our awareness. Play is a natural environment for kids to express their thoughts and feelings.
During play, the therapist may reflect back to the child observations of what has happened during the session. Sessions may last from 45 to 50 min.
During play therapy the therapist may utilize puppets, sand trays, art, role play, storytelling, games, etc.

Art Therapy is a form of play therapy, it is an expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve a person’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
The creative process involved in expressing one’s self artistically can help people to resolve issues as well as develop and manage their behaviors and feelings, reduce stress, and improve self-esteem and awareness.
You don’t need to be talented or an artist to receive the benefits, the therapist can work with you to dive into the underlying messages communicated through your art, which will aid in the healing process.
Therapists are trained to pick up on nonverbal symbols and metaphors that are often expressed through art and the creative process, concepts that are usually difficult to express with words. It is through this process that the individual really begins to see the effects of art therapy and the discoveries that can be made.

Social Skills Programs at ABS

ABS Social Skills

 We are changing the way Social Skills programs are run here at ABS. We will be running the 8 week programs, with three possible levels of classes for each of the two programs, 4 times a year with the next classes running Sept 28-Oct 2 through Nov 16-20. The program includes a one hour screening with Andy (for new clients who have not worked with Andy) and has a total cost of $320 which must be prepaid at first visit. If client/parents have already seen Andy and he knows the proper placement then the cost would be $280 ($35 per class which is typical group therapy insurance reimbursement rate).

We can start scheduling for the screening appointments now (call 801 935-4171 ext 0, or email info@alternativebehaviorstrategies.com). At the screening appointment, Andy will spend an hour clarifying goals and determining proper placement for the three levels of classes. The three levels of classes are designed to place children with others with whom they can interact well.

Social Skills Groups (by Andy Saalfield)


Social skills programs are intended to provide children and teens the opportunity to learn and practice appropriate social interactions in a safe and structured environment. These programs are designed to teach specific social skills that children and teens can take with them into their everyday lives and which will give them more confidence and success in social settings.

Alternative Behavior Strategies offers two social skills programs, depending on the age of the child. Both of these programs are geared toward children and teens who may have difficulty fostering positive relationships, who struggle with engaging in meaningful conversations with family and peers, or may lack confidence in social situations.

Alternative Behavior Strategies offers two social skills programs, depending on the age of the child. Both of these programs are geared toward children and teens who may have difficulty fostering positive relationships, who struggle with engaging in meaningful conversations with family and peers, or may lack confidence in social situations.

For younger children, 5-8 years of age, ABS utilizes the first eight units of the “Super Heroes” curriculum, each focused on a different social skill that, when used in conjunction with previous units, can help children manage a wide variety of social situations they may encounter. The first five units “Get Ready, “Following Directions,” “Reducing Anxiety,” “Participate,” and “Imitation” focus on a child’s presentation and behaviors. These units are more age and developmentally appropriate for younger children and incorporate a combination of videos, comics, and role playing to teach the lesson in a variety of ways. The final three units revolve around verbal communication skill development, specifically “Expressing Wants and Needs,” “Joint Attention,” and “Turn Taking.” At the end of the 8-week curriculum, it is the goal of the program that children will be able to incorporate lessons from each unit into their everyday communication.

For children and teens 9 years and older, ABS uses the “PEERS” (Program for the Evaluation and Enrichment of Relational Skills). This evidence-based curriculum has been used extensively to assist children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disorders to learn social skills that are present in every day settings. Designed to incorporate parents in the learning process, PEERS involves homework and in-group activities for each unit that may often require the participation of parents or guardians.

The PEERS program curriculum is tailored for adolescents with a greater social repertoire, but still struggle to foster and maintain healthy relationships. The PEERS full curriculum is 14 units and depending on skills and ages, groups may move through these units at different paces. These units cover conversation basics including two-way conversations and entering and leaving conversations, also the curriculum teaches skills regarding electronic communication, choosing appropriate friends, using humor, social outings, sportsmanship, teasing and bullying, and social rejection.   These units are structured and outlined by the creators of the PEERS program to promote and learn from social interactions within the social group settings that can be used at home, school, or at lunch with friends.

Social skills groups such as these are intended to give children with poor or limited social skills the opportunity to learn new ways of interacting with peers, improve communication within the home and school, and to enhance their every day lives. So, if you child has a hard time talking to peers, making friends, or struggles to maintain relationships, social skills groups may be able to help

Social Skills Group Curriculum

Here’s a brief overview of the curriculum for the two programs.

SuperHeroes Kids age 5-8.

All weeks will included homework and in-group and at-home activities for the participants:

  • Week 1. Getting Ready
  • Week 2. Following Directions
  • Week 3. Reducing Anxiety
  • Week 4. Participation
  • Week 5. Imitation
  • Week 6. Expressing Wants and Needs
  • Week 7. Joint Attention
  • Week 8. Turn Taking

(These titles taken from the SuperHeroes manual)

PEERS   Kids and teens aged 9+

For older participants, the groups will focus more heavily on communication skills.

All weeks will included homework and in-group and at-home activities for the participants:

  • Week 1. Introduction and Trading Information
  • Week 2. Conversational Skills: Two-Way Conversations
  • Week 3. Conversational Skills: Electronic Communication
  • Week 4. Choosing Appropriate Friends
  • Week 5. Appropriate Use of Humor
  • Week 6. Conversational Skills: Entering a Conversation
  • Week 7. Conversational Skills: Exiting a Conversations
  • Week 8. Social Outing and Get-Togethers

(These titles taken from the PEERS manual)

Dr Bonnie Yee-Hebert, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Yee-Herbert is our clinical psychologist at ABS in California and will be doing assessments at:  8350 Archibald Ave #125, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730


Dr. Bonnie Yee specializes in treating all ages, utilizing behavioral therapies and conducting psychological/neuropsychological evaluations.   Dr. Yee’s current experience includes comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations for diagnosis for learning disabilities, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, cognitive dysfunction, medical conditions impacting behavior, dementia related evaluations, and traumatic brain injuries. She also can provide comprehensive neuropsychological assessments to address a wide variety of disabilities, disorders, cognitive strengths and weaknesses, as well as rehabilitative treatments.

Dr. Yee holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology, Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, and Post-Doctoral Specialization in Neuropsychology. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from University of California, Irvine, her Doctoral degree at American School of Professional Psychology, where she earned Magna Cum Laude honors, and a Post-Doctoral specialization at Fielding University. Dr. Yee is a member of Orange County Psychological Association.

Before coming onboard at ABS, Dr. Yee-Herbert was a Consulting Psychologist with the Department of Rehabilitation in Orange County, CA where her responsibilities included:

  • Conducting comprehensive assessment of applicants for services to determine eligibility and priority of services for Department of Rehabilitation, aid counselors in development of Individualized Plans for Employment;
  • Identifying functional capacities and limitation, and developing strategies with counselors for dealing with conflict or mental health issues that impede progress in various stages of the pre-plan process;
  • Providing consultation to counselors for the diagnosis on mental health disabilities, and consults with service delivery staff on psychological issues and concerns pertaining to the aspects of the disability;
  • Conducting psychological assessments and testing to evaluate consumers with a variety of disabling conditions;
  • Explaining results of Psychological assessments and testing to consumers;
  • Conducting staff training for mental health issues, the effects of traumatic brain injuries and identifying what compensatory strategies would improve functioning, learning and mental health disabilities, and other cognitive impairments on potential employment.

Medication for Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Medication for Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (by Dr. Natalie Roth)

Possibly one of the more challenging decisions for parents with children that have an Autistic Spectrum Disorder is whether or not medication is an appropriate addition to a treatment plan.  In my experience, most parents feel a profound sense of responsibility in making this choice for their child.  They often express concern about their child’s comfort and safety, and I regularly hear parents talk protectively about wanting to maintain their child’s unique personality, even if his/her behaviors can sometimes be problematic.  At the same time, parents want to maximize their child’s ability to make use of and develop the skills they have so that they are able to function as independently as possible at school, at home, and in their community.  Navigating this decision often requires parents to carefully balance the potential benefits of medication use against the potential drawbacks.  This weighing of options is not always easy as neither the benefits nor the drawbacks are always immediately apparent.  As I’ve talked with parents who have been through this process these are a few points that I’ve found to be helpful:

Keep in mind that there are no medications that treat the core symptoms of Autistic Spectrum Disorders directly (the core symptoms being delays in social communication and reciprocity, and patterns of repetitive/stereotypic behavior).  However, medication can be helpful in reducing some of the auxiliary problems such as behavior outbursts, helping to regulate sleep and lessening obsessive thinking or compulsive behavior.  Additionally, many children with ASD have co-morbid diagnoses that can benefit from medication.  For example, a child with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or an Anxiety Disorder can often benefit significantly from medication is these conditions are accurately identified.  Treatment of these features can lead to improvements in core ASD symptoms, but it will not alleviate them altogether.  It’s important that medication trials be undertaken with realistic expectations.  Additionally, keep in mind that medication for any developmental disorder is most effective when it is part of a more comprehensive treatment plan.  Medication can have important benefits, but shouldn’t take the place of therapies designed to teach skills.

There are some choices when it comes to choosing a professional who can prescribe medication.  If you have questions about whether medication in an appropriate option for your child, it is a good idea to initially speak with his/her primary care pediatrician.  In some cases, this person may feel comfortable working with you around prescribing medication.  He or she may also want to refer you to someone who specializes in this area.  This referral may be to a Developmental Pediatrician (a pediatrician who specializes in caring for children with unique developmental needs) or to a Psychiatrist (a medical doctor trained in treating developmental and mental health issues, with specific expertise in using medication).  If available, it can be helpful to seek out a pedatirican or a child psychiatrist who has experience treating children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders.  Experience with how certain types of medication affect particular symptoms, how medications work together, and how children with ASD’s respond differently to medications can be very helpful.  You should feel comfortable with your prescribing doctor’s level of knowledge and experience, and also with the office protocol for communicating around your child’s responses, your questions, needs, and potential emergencies.  As a parent, you should feel supported by your medical providers in your attempt to advocate for the appropriate dose/timing of any medication.  You will be the person who is most sensitive to both positive and negative effects of medication and this perspective should be valued.

When a family has reached a point where medication is being considered, they are often eager for results and it is challenging to remain patient through the process of finding the right medication and dosage.  Appropriately, most doctors or psychiatrists prescribing to children will begin with a low dose of medication to determine whether or not it is well tolerated.  However, this low dose may not be within a therapeutic range for your child initially, and I encourage parents to prepare themselves for gradual increases as they work with their doctor to determine the right dosage.  Alternately, children with ASD are sometimes more sensitive to medication and an initial trial of a particular medication may result in a negative response.  When attempting a new medication, it may be helpful to formulate a plan for how to respond if your child needs increased assistance. It can be very frustrating (and disappointing) to manage a negative reaction to a medication trial.  Try to keep in mind, though, that this does not mean that there is not a different type/amount of medication that will work for your child. 

A doctor will describe the side effect profile that accompanies medication use.  As a parent, you should be informed about what to expect and what changes may signal potential problems.  At the same time, it is just as important to have a clear understanding of what potential benefits are reasonable to expect so that you and your doctor can clearly evaluate whether the medication is providing improvement.  When I’m working with a patient whose family is weighing a medication trial, I want them to be aware of the potential negative side effect, but I also feel that it’s important to understand that there are sometimes consequences to not using a medication if it would be helpful in improving their child’s ability to function and make use of other treatments that they are receiving.  Sometimes I phrase this as the “side effects” of not using medication.  Research with children who have ADHD, for example, suggests that those children effectively treated with medication were less likely to become involved in drug/alcohol use because their symptoms were managed.  A child with ASD who also struggles with anxiety may not be able to implement and consolidate learned social skills because his/her heightened anxiety prevents real-life interaction with peers.  Often the decision around using medication involves a weighing of the potential benefits with the potential “costs”.   Talking through this question with treatment providers, your pediatrician, your child’s educational team, and invested family and community supports can often be vital in getting the information you need to make this decision. 

If the decision is made to start a medication trial, I encourage parents to identify (with the help of their doctor and interventionists) two to five specific behaviors that they are trying to address with medication.  Before starting a medication trial, I suggest that they keep some simple data on how often they observe the target behaviors on a daily basis (keeping track of the time of the day as well).  Once medication has reached a therapeutic dose, continue to keep data on the occurrence of the behaviors during the same time frame.  In addition, note any changes in a child’s environment or experience that may also affect their functioning (for example, did they return to school, go on a vacation, or become ill?).  This type of data can be very useful when attempting to monitor whether a medication is effective.  While certain changes in a child’s day to day experience can’t be helped, it is important not to make other intentional adjustments to his/her therapeutic plan during a medication trial as it is then difficult to determine which factor(s) are responsible for any observed changes. 

For those who are interested in the types of medication that are most frequently prescribed for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, the National Institutes of Health provides a good summary of commonly used medications and their potential benefits and side effects (http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/autism/conditioninfo/Pages/medication-treatment.aspx). 

Another very helpful resource is the medication “toolkit” provided by Autism Speaks:


Dr Natalie Roth, Clinical Psychologist

Alternative Behavior Strategies is glad to announce that Dr Natalie Roth has joined our team here at ABS.


Dr. Natalie Roth is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist specializing in developmental issues, and particularly in children with neurodevelopment delays. Dr. Roth grew up in Utah and attended the University of Utah before moving to Los Angeles for graduate school. She graduated from the APA approved psychology program at Fuller Theological Seminary following practicum experience at the University of Southern California and an internship at St. John’s Child Development Center in Santa Monica, California. She and her husband returned to the gorgeous mountains and wonderful lifestyle of Salt Lake City in 2002.

Her specific interest in Autism was strengthened as part of a developmental assessment team that worked through the State of Utah Department of Health, Children with Special Health Care Needs. In this capacity, she evaluated and worked with the families of hundreds of children with Autistic Spectrum and other developmental disorders as part of a multi-disciplinary assessment team. She specializes in the assessment of developmental delays and has worked extensively with younger children (ages birth to five), but has a wide degree of experience assessing older children and adolescents, as well. Dr. Roth has expertise in testing a range of developmental domains, including intellectual testing for verbal and non-verbal children, ADOS testing, early developmental testing, and tests of academic functioning. Her approach to working with families through the process of an assessment is to provide support in determining the most accurate understanding of a particular child’s presenting issues. The results of the assessment are used to arrive at a diagnosis, if applicable, but as importantly, to understand the unique strengths and weaknesses of a child so that his or her parents can make informed, individual decisions about which steps to take next.

Natalie and her husband have two young boys who enjoy all of the outdoor fun that Utah has to offer, including hiking, boating, and camping. In rare moments of free time, she especially likes running in the foothills with her dog, playing the piano, or having dinner with friends.

As a Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Roth will be offering a variety of services through Alternative Behavior Strategies, including:

Diagnostic evaluations for suspected neurodevelopment conditions such as:

  • Autistic Spectrum Disorders
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Trauma and Stress Related Disorders
  • Depressive Disorders
  • Disorders of disruptive behavior and impulse control
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Language Delay
  • Intellectual Disability / Global Developmental Delay
  • Cognitive and behavioral issues related to:
  • Prenatal substance exposure (such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome / Affects),
  • Genetic Disorders
  • Medical Issues with potential psychiatric/neurocognitive complications

In many cases, this type of assessment can be beneficial for children and adolescents when:

  • A child is struggling to meet developmental milestones, has encountered learning problems, or does not appear to be able to function as independently as expected.
  • A teacher, instructor, or medical professional has indicated concern about a child’s performance or development.
  • Behavioral concerns (such as heightened activity levels, poor impulse control, oppositionality, aggression, or avoidance) are interfering with a child’s ability to form positive relationships, complete daily tasks, or take advantage of learning environments.
  • A child has a medical history (including prematurity) which is known to have potential neurodevelopment or psychiatric consequences.
  • Efforts at intervention and treatment have not been as effective as hoped.
  • A child/adolescent demonstrates a change in mood status or behavior (for example, is eating or sleeping differently) or expresses persistent discomfort about his/her life experience.

As a result of a diagnostic evaluation, a family/caregiver could expect the following outcomes:

    • A new understanding or clarification of diagnostic status.
    • An assessment of a child’s strengths and how these can be applied to areas of identified vulnerability.
    • Assistance in reviewing recommended treatment options and prioritizing treatment goals.
    • Specific recommendations for different contexts in which a child operates, including home, school, social, vocational, and community environments.
    • Referrals to other specialists when indicated.
    • Documenting changes in functioning over time.
    • Attention to both the practical and emotional needs of parents and caregivers as they move through a process of better understanding their child.
    • Consultation with other providers involved in the child’s care, when requested by parents/care-givers.
    • A comprehensive, in-person review of results with parents/care-givers, followed by a detailed written report.

Dr. Roth will also be available for consultation/therapy appointments to address issues such as:

      • How to cope as a family or an individual with a new diagnosis
      • Cognitive-behavioral therapy to reduce anxiety or depressive symptoms
      • Review of family functioning around the stress that can occur when children have neurodevelopmental complications
      • Gaining optimism in parenting a child with special needs
      • Parental support during implementation of new behavioral strategies
      • Consultation with school, church, or other communities where a child is active.

As part of the team at Alternative Behavior Strategies, Dr. Roth will also be involved in the on-going care of clients who receive ABA, Speech, or Occupational Therapy, as needed. This involvement might include monthly consultation with a child’s treatment team, close work with Speech, OT, and other Mental Health providers at ABS, and on-going training for parents, staff, and the SLC community.

Is My Child’s Speech Normal?

My child’s speech & language skills… are they delayed?
by Michelle Turkoglu, Speech Therapist at ABS

A colleague of mine mentioned that when he meets his friends’ children or sees children out and about, their speech and language skills seem to differ greatly. The children are all around the same age and don’t appear to have any developmental delays such as Autism, syndromes or other disorders, so why is their language so different?

The easy answer is that there is a wide range of what is considered “normal” for speech, language, and communication development. And while that’s true, it doesn’t help parents, caregivers, teachers or anyone who works with children a good idea if the child needs therapy support or not.

Pediatricians, teachers, speech-therapists and the internet can all provide you with charts, graphs and lists of what is considered typical. While some of this information is accurate, you’ll find that the information can vary from one source to another. It also seems like people are hearing blanketed or general statements that don’t really give enough information. For example, some lists would state that the following milestones should occur between 1-2 years of age:

  • Understands “no”
  • Uses 10 to 20 words, including names
  • Combines two words
  • Waves good-bye
  • Makes the “sounds” of familiar animals
  • Gives a toy when asked
  • Brings object from another room when asked
  • Uses words to make wants known
  • Points to body parts such as eyes, nose, mouth

There is nothing wrong with this information. All these milestones should in fact occur around age 1 and before or right around 2 years. But if an 11-month-old child can do all these things proficiently and a 23-month-old child is just learning these skills, should both be considered “typical”? If we simply based our evaluation off of the “list” we could come to a few conclusions:

  • the 11-month old is advanced
  • the 23-month old is delayed
  • both children are “fine” because there is a wide range of typical

As a speech-language pathologist, I think that these lists can be helpful guidelines but really should be interpreted by a professional with advanced training in child development (SLPs, developmental pediatricians, pediatric neuropsychologist, etc.). The professional that you seek help from should spend some time with the child and engage with him or her in a variety of activities in order to get a good sense of how they communicate and interact. Videos of children at home or in various settings can provide really great insight into how a child is communicating in various environments.


In the case of the 10-month old vs. the 23-month-old, there could be so many other conclusions drawn once he or she is evaluated by a professional. For instance, the 11-month-old uses well over 10-20 words but all those words are related to a single topic. He or she waves goodbye but only when told to do so and does not look at the person when waving. He or she engages in sing-along but only 1-2 songs from their favorite TV show. They can identify and get items for you but maybe they need the direction repeated several times along with gestures and pointing to understand. So while they can perform the skills that are listed, the manner in which they are performed may be considered “atypical”.

The 23-month-old child may in fact be “delayed” if the listed skills are just beginning to emerge. The extent of the delay would need to be examined. The delay may need therapy to help him or her “catch up”. The delay may be pervasive (continue on) and would definitely need intervention to help him or her develop language skills. On the other hand, maybe the 23-month-old was adopted and is just starting to hear and learn English. Maybe the child’s overall communication, social interaction and other developmental skills are on-track. If we just looked at the “list”, we would consider the child to be delayed or disordered, when in fact, they could just be acquiring a new language (which is not a disorder of speech-language skills).

So if you are thinking that your child may have speech-language-communication delays, getting a professional opinion is the best option. A pediatric speech-language pathologist should be able to determine if your child would benefit from starting therapy right away or explain why he/she thinks that your child does not need therapy.

One final note…As a parent or caregiver, you know your child best. Ask lots of questions. Let the professional know that you’ve done your research and explain why you are concerned. An open dialogue will answer the most questions and help understanding for both the professional and parent.