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Children start talking in the first two years of their life. While everyone learns at a different rate, some children have more difficulty as compared to others. In such cases, your child may benefit by consulting a speech therapist. A speech therapist’s sole purpose is to spend one on one time with your child and help them overcome communication issues. Some of the ways a speech therapist can help are:
- Better Articulation: Articulation refers to a person’s ability to move the jaw, tongue, lips and palate to enunciate sounds. If the child can articulate properly, he or she will also be able to make more intelligible sounds. A speech therapist can help a child produce specific sounds and sound patterns. This can make their speech more easily understood by others.
- Expand the child’s vocabulary: Once a child learns how to articulate different sounds, a speech therapist can help them learn new words. They can also help them learn how to string these words together into a phrase or sentence. This is known as expressive vocabulary. It helps your child communicate better and rely less on gestures and more on words. For example, he could learn to say bye instead of only waving his hand.
- Increased receptivity: Communication is a two-way street. Receptivity refers to a child’s ability to understand and listen to others. While a speech therapist helps a child speak with more clarity it also helps them become better listeners. When children have a bigger vocabulary, they can use their knowledge to answer questions, participate in conversations and follow directions.
- Stuttering: Stuttering is a common disorder that affects children. It can be understood as taking breaks in speech, repeating words and syllables. This condition usually begins in childhood and can often continue into adulthood. If left untreated, stuttering can also cause unusually facial movements, tension in the head and neck and odd motor movements. A speech therapist can help your child control such behaviour and treat their stuttering problem.
- Resonance: When a child cannot speak properly, they tend to scream and shout to get themselves understood. This can cause vocal abuse. Resonance refers to voice quality determined by sound vibrations in the oral and nasal cavities. Vocal abuse can affect resonance and make a child’s voice hoarse. By helping them speak more clearly, a child will no longer have to shout to make himself understood and hence will have better voice quality.
When it comes to speech, every child has a different pace of learning. In the first year, they should be able to recognize and respond to their own names and simple directions like ‘come’, etc. By a child’s second birthday, he or she should be able to use a single word or two-word phrases and understand simple questions. If a child’s speech development seems atypical for his or her age, you may need to consult a speech therapist. Some of the things you should look out for are:
- Mispronouncing vowels: Many children have problems with pronunciation. Pronouncing ‘bath’ as ‘baf’ or ‘animal’ as ‘amal’ is normal. However, if they cannot pronounce vowels correctly, they may be having problems with articulation. For example, your child might say ‘coo’ instead of ‘cow’.
- Using only single words: Part of a speech therapist’s job is to teach a child to join words together to create phrases and sentences. If even after your child’s second birthday, they still prefer using single words instead of phrases, you should consult a speech therapist. For example, they may just say ‘water’ instead of ‘i want water’.
- Stuttering: Many children are shy and hesitant of speaking especially in front of strangers. However, stuttering is a more serious problem. This could be in the form of repeating syllables or prolonging words. For example, ‘s-s-s-s-s-stop’ or ‘mmmmmm me’. If this is not nipped in the bud, it could continue into the child’s adult life as well.
- Answering a question by repeating part of it: By the age of three years, a child should be able to understand and answer simple questions. If the child answers a question by repeating part of it, such as answering “do you want food” with “you want food”, it could be a sign of a bigger problem. This is known as echolalia and might be an early symptom of autism.
- Limited vocabulary: Each child’s vocabulary grows at a different rate but it is important to be able to notice an increase in the child’s vocabulary from month to month. If the child uses only a finite set of words and does not catch on to new words, you may need a speech therapist. They can help the child expand their vocabulary and become more receptive to new words.
Other factors you should watch out for include difficulty with pronouns, not being able to follow instructions and understand prepositions and confusion with gender. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Autism is a developmental disorder that is usually diagnosed within the first three years of a child’s life. Speech disorders and an inability to communicate with others are characteristic symptoms of autism. Speech therapy can be very beneficial for such children. Thus, it is often a major part of a treatment plan for autism. Some of the benefits of speech therapy for autistic children include:
- Better articulation: Autistic children often find it hard to make certain sounds. Hence, they tend to babble or make harsh sounds or grunt instead of talking. A speech therapist can help the child learn to articulate sounds in a better way. For this, the therapist will help the child exercise the facial muscles and lips. This can make it easier for them to be understood by others.
- Treating echolalia: Echolalia refers to a child’s behaviour where he or she answers a question by repeating part of it. This may be because they find it difficult to express their own thoughts and feelings. Echolalia is very common amongst autistic children. Speech therapy is the only way to treat this condition. If left untreated, it could make the child withdraw into himself.
- Better vocabulary: Autistic children often memorize words without understanding them. A speech therapist can help the child put words into context and thus help reduce their dependence on gestures. This can also make autistic children more confident. In addition to expanding their vocabulary, a therapist can also teach children the proper time and place for communication. For example, when to say good morning and good evening.
- Initiate communication: When children are not confident of expressing themselves, they wait to be called on before saying anything. By helping them articulate sounds better and expanding their vocabulary, a speech therapist can help children gain the confidence needed to initiate conversations. With therapy, autistic children can also follow simple instructions and begin to answer questions independently. This will make them more independent.
Speech therapy does not follow the same techniques for all children. For therapy to be effective, the therapist must work in close collaboration with the child’s parents and caregivers to set the right goals and monitor the child’s progress. Some of the techniques that may be used include the use of electronic talkers, typing or signing, picture boards, facial exercise and massages, using rhyme to help construct sentences and using sounds to help the child expand speech sounds. If the child is non-verbal, the therapist may also introduce alternatives to verbal communication.
Speech therapy is a very specific field of medicine where the therapists deal with speech disorders in children and adults, which may be a result of certain mental or personality disorders. These doctors can be essential when it comes to teaching a child how to articulate better and also to be more expressive of his/her feelings. Here is a look at a few of the benefits of a speech therapist in the life of a child suffering from speech impairment.
- Improvement of articulation skills: Articulation refers to the movement of the mouth, lips and tongue in such a manner so as to form and pronounce a word properly. Aside from the movement of the mouth, voice modulation also falls within the purview of articulation. A child suffering from speech impairment cannot perform this activity as easily as a healthy child does. This is where a speech therapist comes into play. These specialists can ensure that the child’s mouth movement and voice modulation can be in perfect harmony to form words normally.
- Language skills: Some form of mental disorders severely limit the number of new words or grammar rules that a child can learn. A speech therapist can aid such children in learning the basic rules of grammar and apply these rules when they speak out. So, it is quite likely that the therapists may also act as teachers for the children and improve their overall vocabulary.
- Improvement of listening skills: Difficulty in speaking can sometimes also lead to difficulty in understanding what others are saying. So, if your child has a speech impairment, it may mean that he has problems understanding what you say to him. In such a circumstance, the speech therapist can, for instance, help your child understand the difference between a question and a statement. In the long run, the listening skill will help your child comprehend you better.
- Reduction of stammering: Stuttering and stammering are forms of speech impairment that many children suffer from. However, such impairments can be easily rectified by undergoing a few sessions with a speech therapist. The therapist can clear your child’s speech and ensure that the stammering disappears by the time he/she grows up.
- Treat certain vocal conditions: Your child may be unable to speak clearly due to an issue with his/her vocal chords. If that is the case, speech therapists can sometimes help your child with the same. Abnormal vocal resonance can also be corrected by these specialists.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Some children have more difficulty building a vocabulary and articulating sounds as compared to others. In such cases, a speech therapist can help. A speech therapist will help your child learn to enunciate properly, build their vocabulary and help them communicate better. Many speech problems such as stuttering begin in early childhood and if left untreated, can continue into the child’s adult life as well. Working with a speech therapist can help prevent this. Some of the benefits of consulting a speech therapist include:
- Clearer speech: Each sound of the English alphabet is unique. While it is common for children to mispronounce words with complex syllables like bath or shower, a speech therapist is needed when the child cannot pronounce vowels correctly. A speech therapist will then be able to help the child pronounce sounds clearly and speak in a way so that he or she can be understood by others.
- Reduced dependency on gestures: When a child is not confident speaking or does not know the word for what he wants, he will resort to gestures such as pointing. When you try to teach your child the associated word, he or she may not be receptive to it and may continue to use gestures or use another word for it. In such cases, speech therapists can help build the child’s vocabulary through different exercises. They will also help the child frame sentences so that he does not have to rely on gestures.
- Improved listening skills: By expanding a child’s vocabulary, a speech therapist can help the child understand simple questions and directions. This allows the child to understand what others are saying to him and be understood by them. Thus, they can help your child become more social and better listeners.
- Greater independence: For a child to start going o school, he or she needs to have achieved a certain degree of independence. Speech therapists help them achieve that independence by helping them improve their communication skills. When a child learns to speak on his own and can understand what people are saying, he or she will not have to rely on the parents to interpret their gestures and words.
- Better expression: As a child’s vocabulary grows, so does his ability to express himself. This helps them talk about their feelings, thoughts etc. Thus, a speech therapist can help a shy child become more social by helping him or her speak more clearly.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Sir my mother has continue sound in left ear. She had wrong treatment 45 years back and operated. There is a whole in her ear. Problem started when hearing aid specialist while examining .she is depressed. Help us sir. We do not know whom to show.
I have screamed during a fight. Its been almost 5 months. From then I have been going through pitch problems during talking. There is always a feeling of hoarseness and breathless in my voice.
Sir my 3 years baby has been suffering from mucus cold cough and ear drum swelling than make him hear losing problem since last 2 months.
Speech therapy is a very distinct form of science that is often misunderstood by people in general. While the benefits of such a therapy is countless, people misinterpret what the therapy actually involves and what it does not. If you are avoiding speech therapy due to the following reasons, you should stop doing so as these are nothing but fabricated myths.
- Speech therapy is all about talking: Do not think that speech therapy only involves talking with the therapist. The therapy focuses on the overall communication skills of a person, which definitely involves the speech but also the intricacies of articulation and body language. Sign aids and comprehension skills are also paid attention to in such a therapy session. So, if you feel that you have a problem regarding any one of these aspects, you need to visit a speech therapist.
- Speech therapy is uninteresting: Nothing can be further from the truth than this. In fact, a visit to a dentist can be boring, but a visit to a speech therapist will always involve interesting activities such as tongue twisters. The therapists often treat children, which means that their offices, house toys, and other games designed to indulge the minds of infants as well.
- A qualified speech therapist is needed for the therapy: Another myth, which needs to be dispelled, is that only a qualified speech therapist can help improve the speech of a person. In fact, any person who has a vast knowledge of diction, linguistic insight, and knowledge of grammar can help people with speech impairment. So, before visiting the doctor, the adults in the family should try and clear out the impairment themselves.
- Speech therapy fixes issues in the snap of a finger: As with any kind of treatment, speech therapy does not work like magic. It is a continuous and long process that needs to be followed through. The pace of this treatment depends on the patient. Some patients are more receptive to this therapy than others. So, there is no guideline for the treatment of all speech-impaired individuals and one needs to be treated and allowed to get better at their own pace.
- Your child will automatically learn perfect speech: If your child suffers from a speech impairment, do not delay a therapy session by thinking that he/she will automatically learn to speak better as they grow up. This way of thinking is not beneficial and hinders the eventual treatment for the impairment. The speech therapist can help you better if you bring your child to him/her as soon as you detect an issue. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!