If your preschool teacher has mentioned that your child's speech isn't as clear as it should be, or if you still have a hard time understanding their words, you want to get answers. There are a few different problems that your child may be having that require the attention of a specialist.
Having speech problems can be affecting their social and intellectual growth and development. Your child could be having developmental concerns or health conditions that prevent them from speaking properly and you won't know until you consult the following professionals.
See an ENT
Make an appointment for your child to see an ENT. This is an ear nose and throat doctor. You will want to have your child get to a hearing screening before they have their appointment, so the specialist can go over the results. If they aren't able to hear others clearly, they may not know how to speak properly. They also may not be able to hear their own words to know that they aren't correct.
Go to a Dentist
Have you taken your child to the dentist? If not, they could have problem with their oral development causing the speech concerns. If the palate of their mouth hasn't formed correctly, or their teeth aren't placed properly in the mouth, they may not be able to speak clearly. A general or pediatric dentist, like Thomas J Merten, DDS, can fully examine the mouth and have x-rays done, and then they may want the child to see an orthodontist for treatment.
Your child may need to see a speech pathologist to help with their development. The school that they are at may have one on staff, or you may want to see one privately if you are trying to get your child ready for kindergarten and you think they need help over the summer. It's best to get the problem taken care of as soon as possible, and to find out what you can work on at home.
You don't want to spend any more time wondering if your child's speech is a serious problem or something they will grow out of. Make an appointment with these specialists so you can determine if there is a physical problem to blame, or to see if they need help with their development. Once you know the culprit, you can work hard to get the problem fixed so they can talk clearly and continue with their social and intellectual development.