Did you notice an occasional stutters while talking to your child? if yes, then could it be a problem? Should you seek medical help? In case, your child has a speech or language disorder, it’s always best to consult a speech language pathologist. He/she can let you know if this is a serious issue and needs to be treated. In this article, we will be providing solution to all your problems. Read below to find more:
Speech Therapy: Things You Should Know
When is a Therapy Needed?
There can be a few reasons why your child might need speech-language therapy. A few of them are as listed below:
- Hearing impairments
- Chronic hoarseness
- Weak oral muscles
- Fluency disorders
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Articulation problems
- Motor planning problems
- Birth defects such as cleft lip or cleft palate
- Cognitive or other developmental delays
- Feeding or swallowing disorders
- Respiratory problems (breathing disorders)
How Does It Work?
The kind of problem a student has and the reason behind it, is all determined by a speech-language pathologist (SLP). They are the ones who help your kid in building skills by working with them one-on-one, in small groups or in classrooms.
They help with the treatment of
- Receptive language problems: trouble understanding language
- Expressive language problems: trouble speaking language
- Pragmatic language problems: trouble using language in socially appropriate ways.
Thus, one can be helped with the following by a speech language therapist.
Trouble with the flow of speech
Oral Feeding Problems
Trouble eating, swallowing or drooling
Trouble speaking clearly.
Resonance or Voice Problems
Trouble with volume, voice patch and quality.
Are there any Strategies for Each Child’s Particular Challenge?
Your child’s therapist may come up with a number of strategies that can help improve your child’s condition. This will depend on the problem as well as the reason behind the same. We have listed a few of them below:
The SLP will model the sound the child faces difficulty with. For instance, he/she may demonstrate the movement of the tongue to create specific sounds.
Feeding and Swallowing Therapy
This one might include facial massage and various tongue, lip and jaw exercises that will help the child with strengthening the muscles of the mouth.
Language Intervention Activities
There can be a number of activities included in this one in order to build skills. They may make use of books, pictures or pay-based therapy.
What are the Benefits of Speech Therapy?
As per a study, about 70% of the kids of preschool who had language issues and went through speech therapy showed improvement in language skills. Speech therapy can help the child in a number of ways. They will learn to speak more clearly which will further help them to feel more confident about speaking to others.
Those who have issues in reading, like dyslexia can be helped with the same when it comes to hearing and distinguishing specific sounds in words. This will improve the reading comprehension skills in them.
What are the Results that You Can Expect from Speech Therapy?
First of all, just remember that speech therapy cannot completely ‘cure’ your child. There will still be that underlying speech or language issue. However, you will surely see an improvement in your child’s issues. Your child’s work with a speech therapist can last for months or even years but it depends on your child’s needs.
There will be a number of activities for you to practice at home to reinforce the skills your child is learning. You will also be given strategies by your therapist to help you deal with obstacles.
How Can You Help Your Child as a Parent?
Just because your child and the speech therapist make a good match, it does not mean that you have done your job. You, as a parent, is an extremely important part of your child’s therapy program. According to the speech-language experts, parental involvement is vital for the success of a child’s speech or language therapy.
Apart from that, also consult your child’s therapist for some suggestions and other ways on how you can help your child. of course, the program as well as the progress will take some time, but you have to be patient and understanding.
Make sure that the speech therapist you consult holds experience working with kids. In addition to this, it is also important that your child is comfortable with the therapist. Remember that your child will only be able to make out of it if there is complete involvement by his/her side.