Q:

Everyone in our family can understand our 4-year-old. However, visitors are often puzzled by what he is saying. Could he have a speech problem and we don't even recognize it? -- Wondering

A:

Not being understood by people outside the family is one of the signs that 3- and 4-year-olds could possibly have a speech disorder. Other signs, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, include not mastering most of the following skills:

  • -Uses a lot of sentences that have four or more words.
  • -Usually talks easily without repeating syllables or words.
  • -Uses sentences that give lots of details. (The biggest peach is mine.)