Raising a child takes a lot of effort on your part, and it’s not exactly going to be a walk in the park. Noticing development issues means you have to react right away to make things better and prevent them from escalating. While the age when kids begin speaking will vary from one child to another, if you suspect that the lack of speaking is a problem that needs to be resolved, engaging the kid in speech therapy should be your goal. Here is what it is.
Struggling with speaking can be rather worrying for the parent. Doing nothing about it instead of looking for a solution can further hinder the development of your child. Since you’re worried, though, you’ll surely want to find a solution as soon as possible, and speech therapy could be it.
What Is Speech Therapy?
Not understanding what this type of therapy actually entails could make you unsure of whether your kid really needs it or not. Assisting with the act of speaking is the main component of this process, but it also has other aspects to it. Language disorders can be treated and social skills can be enhanced with its help.
Improving the child’s ability to speak, to understand and express language, both verbal and non-verbal, is the main aspect of speech therapy. It consists of two main tasks. Coordinating the mouth to produce sounds and form words, phrases and sentences, and understanding, as well as expressing language.
Here’s the field that deals with those issues: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speech%E2%80%93language_pathology
The first task deals with fluency, articulation, as well as voice volume regulation. The second one is connected to using language through written, sign, body and pictorial forms. Depending on the disorder, the approach of the speech language pathologist will vary, meaning that the therapy will be tailored specifically to your child’s needs.
Physical exercises may be involved, aiming at strengthening muscles and improving oral-motor work. So can speech drills aimed at improving clarity. And then there’s also sound production practice used to improve articulation.
Why Should You Get It?
Understanding how this therapy works is the first step in deciding if your child needs it. Noticing speech delays should be a clear indication that your kid needs to work with professionals. If a 12 month old child isn’t using any gestures or waving goodbye, if it prefers gestures over vocalizing and has trouble imitating sounds at 18 months and if it isn’t producing spontaneous words and phrases by the age of 2, then you clearly need to think about therapy.
Benefits of working with a speech language pathologist are vast. Developing conversational skills that allows for interaction with other kids and adults is the first one. Improving their ability to express their own thoughts and feelings is another.
Furthermore, understanding social cues to self-regulate the conversation is also something your child can gain from this therapy. He or she will gain clarity of speech as well and improve articulation. And, you’ll see improvements in non-verbal communication too, including body language.
Stuttering is another problem that these professionals can solve. Lack of confidence often causes this issue. And so does the inability to relate to others, all of which can be solved through speech therapy.
Speaking of lack of confidence, it’s often followed by anxiety. Speech issues tend to cause self-esteem issues, but it can often be the other way around as well. Therapy (more info) can solve all of those problems too.
How To Choose A Speech Language Pathologist?
Always wanting the best for your kids, you’ll want the best speech language pathologist as well. Choosing one, however, could be a bit tricky. Not because there aren’t any great ones.
There certainly are. But, not putting effort into finding them could lead to working with the wrong people. Those wrong people won’t solve your kid’s problem and you’ll just be wasting time with them. Not a great scenario, is it?
Choosing the right speech language pathologist, and you can find out at https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-is-a-speech-language-pathologist what they precisely do, starts with getting suggestions. Other parents may have someone to recommend. The Internet will, however, also get you familiar with some great professionals.
Comparing them should be your next step. Checking their level of experience, and, most importantly, their reputation, is definitely a must. Scheduling an interview to see how they communicate with your child is significant as well. And, remember, feel free to make a change if you’re not happy with the process or the results.