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Helping Your Child Overcome Speech Impediments – Expert Advice

Speech and communication are two major variables of child development. A child with speech and communication delays is very likely to have other developmental delays in their life. While in some cases, the matter is a simpler one, consisting in sound substitutions, certain delays of this kind might refer to more complex matters. Some severe cases of speech delays are more complex; sometimes, children are unable to understand language and the motor process of it. In some cases, children with speech delays also have trouble when it comes to feed.... Such delays cannot be postponed, and an expert might be consulted immediately. Speech therapy is the key to offer these children a second chance and parents shouldn’t ignore it.

 

Speech Delay FAQ and Data

The term encompasses a wide array of difficulties when it comes to children’s ability to speak, hear, process information, that have fluency problems and also articulation issues. Aphasia and stuttering are two of the most common speech impediments in children, which untreated will be present in the adult as well. The causes that lead to such issues may vary, from environmental factors to hearing loss. The hearing is in a strong relationship with speech and partial or complete hearing loss is always associated with communication disorders. However, there are other causes that may lead to such issues. Learning disabilities or cerebral pasty are two of the common reasons for which such delays occur. However, mental retardation can be one of the many causes for which speech delays may appear.

Characteristics of children with speech impediments

You can identify a child with a speech disorder by paying attention if they show the following tendencies.

  • Distortions – children with speech delays can distort sound and make it sound unnatural. While not severe, this problem will lead to misunderstanding, and will cause frustration in the child.
  • Substitutions – children with speech disorders will oftentimes swap one sound for another, completely changing the expressed ideas. For instance, instead of “crane”, a child might pronounce “train”.
  • Omissions – in some children’s case, omissions are present. These omissions are oftentimes consonants, which are more difficult to pronounce (e.g. “cool” instead of “school”).
  • Additions – children that show speech delays will sometimes add extra vocals or consonants to make words easier for them to pronounce. This is once again confusing for others and causes extreme frustration for the child.

A child with speech delays will show one or more of the characteristics above. If this is the case of your child, contact their school and ask if they have a speech therapy for secondary schools program. Some educational establishments do, and this might help your child’s speech development tremendously.

Practical tips and tricks to help your child overcome speech impediments

Seeking the help of multiple speech therapists and even neurologists is the best action parents of these children can take. Real therapy is the best way to improve their development and help them adapt better at school or in larger groups. Some paediatricians are militants for the “wait and see” theory. Some might say that their child will outgrow this impediment. But seeking professional help from a speech therapist is the best way to tell if they will or will not outgrow it. In some cases, speech delays hide other health issues and undiagnosed, those might worsen in time. It is important for your child’s development to have them evaluated by a professional. Therapy strategies will be developed based on their condition and needs. However, you can also apply some strategies that will help them overcome their troubles w....

  • Turn off background noise. Contrary to the popular belief, TV background noise doesn’t promote child development. In any case, it will delay it. Plenty of paediatricians will advise turning off the TV more often as this will put an enormous burden of their speech development. Instead, try to interact more with them and communicate as much as possible, even at a very young age. A study has shown that children of parents that constantly speak with them, even at a very young age, develop a richer vocabulary and are less likely to develop speech impediments.
  • Strengthen their oral muscles. It has been proven that weak oral muscles could lead to a variety of communication delays. Because of this fact it is better to offer them at very young ages straws to drink different liquids with. From water to tea, milk and even pureed fruits and vegetables, this will help them strengthen their oral muscles, which decreases the chances of troubled speech. You could also include silly, curly straws, as these are a bit more soliciting on their delicate muscles. Straws can also be used to play with. Of course, with the same purpose to strengthen their muscles. Place a cotton ball on the floor and encourage them to blow it with a straw. It’s fun for them, and a practical way for you to help them improve their speech abilities.
  • Parent involvement in speech therapy sessions. For children, it is important to know that their parents are just as motivated as them, if not more, to help them in the process of perfecting their speech skills and abilities. The more interest, devotion and excitement you chow, they are more likely to become even more motivated to perfect their speech. Try to learn some of the strategies and therapies applies in their sessions and exercise at home as much as possible; praise their progress and encourage them when they become frustrated and want to abandon. This will make an enormous difference, in the long run.

Speech delays in children are incredibly common, and unless they are linked to cerebral pasty or mental retardation, they can be easily corrected. However, efforts and involvement on your part are necessary, beyond taking them to professional speech therapy sessions. While those are the baseline and the cornerstone for improvement, your child needs one-on-one attention from your part. So, make sure that you understand the condition in-depth and apply the strategies above to improve their development.

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Comment by Michele Bayno on July 13, 2018 at 2:52pm

This was an excellent article. I am a mom with children who have had tons of speech therapy. Thank you for posting :)

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