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If your child is suffering from any speech disability which includes trouble with pronunciation of words, then you must look for speech therapy. It can help your child with communication, language development and pragmatic language skills.

Understanding speech therapy

It is an intervention service which focuses on improving your child’s speech and ability to understand and express language and this includes non-verbal language. These services are offered by speech pathologists, speech therapists and language pathologists.

There are two parts of speech therapy:

  • Coordination of the mouth to produce sounds which form words and sentences. This addresses the issues of language fluency, articulation and voice volume regulation.
  • Understanding and expression of language is the other part of speech therapy. This addresses the use of language in the written, body, pictorial and sign forms. It also addresses the use of language through alternative systems of communication like computers, social media and iPads.
  • The role of speech therapists has broadened from simply treating swallowing disorders to include all the parts of feeding.

How do you know your child needs therapy?

Some children may be early readers and have excellent pronunciation, but they may still require speech therapy for improvement in pragmatic language. This is the process wherein a child uses verbal as well as body language appropriately in social situations; this will help them in everyday situations like making conversation, making requests and making friends.

Another reason why your child may need speech therapy is when they have a medical condition like a brain infection or injury which has affected his or her ability to communicate. Children with Down syndrome also require speech therapy. The therapy begins when your child is still young and continues as he or she enters school and begins communicating using the written language.

Treatment for non verbal children

If for any reason your child is unable to speak, there is a need for alternative communication methods. Intervention at an early age by preschool speech therapists can teach you and your child how simple pictures and sign language can help communicate needs.

Children in school can be taught to use the computer or iPad through text or a voice synthesizer. Touch screen technology in today’s smart appliances help students communicate their needs and meet their goals by using the same devices that their classmates make use of.

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