Does My Child Need Speech Therapy?

As parents, we constantly monitor and watch our children to make sure they are developing at the rate they need to be and reaching important milestones. In some cases, children may exhibit signs indicating the need for special attention in their speech. Speech therapy is an excellent solution for children who are showing signs of speech impediments or delays. You may be wondering when you should seek out help for speech therapy. It's important not to worry about development delays as worrying doesn't solve problems. The better solution is to seek out resources for your child to receive the additional help they need so they can improve and live a more fulfilling life.
Some experts advise that children who are not speaking by the age of three should receive speech therapy, while others suggest even earlier. During early stages your child should be babbling and lalling, making different sounds. If the child has reached other milestones like crawling and walking, has passed hearing tests and is alert, it is safe to wait until they are about 30 months old to seek out speech therapy. Most children should be using true speech, such as actual words that serve a purpose, by age two-and-a-half.
There are three main speech problems that children can suffer from. These problems include articulation defects, fluency disorders, and voice/resonance disorders. Articulation defects commonly include defects of physical features like lips, jaw, cheeks, tongue, and teeth, that affect speech. Fluency disorders are not due to physical defects and include disorders like stuttering or stammering. Voice/resonance disorders are affect primary physical speech features like vocal cords and similar parts of the anatomy.
One of the most common speech impediments that children suffer from is persistent stuttering. Children over the age of five who have difficulty with stuttering can benefit immensely from speech therapy. It can vastly improve the child's speech patterns and help them speak more clearly and efficiently. Treating stuttering falls under speech pathology. Upon first visiting with the child, the speech therapist will determine the cause for the speech impediment, such as stuttering. Often stuttering can be the result of an external accident, or it can be a natural defect. Once the therapist has determined the severity of stuttering, they can begin to map out a course of treatment. There is a direct correlation between the type of treatment provided and the severity of the impediment. Treatment for stuttering is usually less intense that treatment for major speech problems.
Trained speech and language pathologists (SLP) are usually the best resource for treatment, however parents and teachers can administer speech therapy to the child with guidance from the SLP. The SLP will draft lessons and exercises specifically for the child and their needs. Speech therapy can be very beneficial for children who have speech disorders and help them feel more confident speaking in front of others.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment

Paste your AdWords Remarketing code here