Why Does my Child Need Speech Therapy?
Raising a child can be the most difficult as well as the most rewarding job in the world. And now your child’s teacher or pediatrician has recommended that you have him or her evaluated by a speech therapist, and suddenly life seems even more challenging. First of all – don’t panic! It’s perfectly natural to be worried, but rest assured that speech therapy can work wonders for your child if he or she does indeed have a speech disorder or delay.
It is important to think of speech therapy as a tool to help your child excel, and not a roadblock or failure to both their and your success. Work with your child’s speech therapist to integrate speech therapy techniques into your child’s daily routine. One starting point is Speech Buddies University, which offers customized exercises to accelerate your child’s progress. With customizable exercises you are able to target the areas your child may need help in and help them excel faster and more efficiently than other non-customizable programs.
What Is Speech Therapy?
One of the first questions that may be wondering is simply, what is speech therapy? Speech therapy is a type of treatment that has the aim of facilitating or improving communication. It is a common misconception that speech therapists only work with children with trouble pronouncing certain sounds (such as those with lisps), although that is indeed a common issue. In actuality, speech therapy is a broad field that can address issues ranging from those associated with autism to traumatic brain injuries in both children as well as adults.
Why Was Your Child Referred for an Evaluation?
Your child’s teacher or pediatrician might have recommended that a speech-language pathologist evaluate your child for a speech disorder or delay. This does not automatically mean that they have a speech disorder. But if they do, having your child undergo treatment with speech therapy sooner rather than later can help prevent any adverse effects on their academic progress, social life, and self-esteem. A child might have an evaluation for a speech disorder for many reasons. The daycare provider might have noticed that your child has trouble responding to questions or that they don't make eye contact, for example, both of which may be signs that speech therapy could benefit your child. Another possible issue that warrants an evaluation is when the child appears to have trouble processing information. That is, they may need help with their receptive language skills. And of course, you may have also noticed that your child(ren) has trouble pronouncing certain sounds. Common mix-ups could include mixing up “p’s” and “b’s,” for example.
How Can a Speech Therapist Help?
A speech therapist can help your child become aware of the differences in his speech compared to typical speech. Your child might not realize that he is slurring his “s” sounds, for example. He also might not realize that he speaks with an abnormally high pitch or an abnormal rhythm. Becoming aware of the issue is often the first step toward resolving it.
Speech therapists work with a variety of tools and props to help the child correct his speech and language issues. They might use Speech Buddies to correct articulation issues or they might use pretend to play with toy people to develop conversation skills. There are countless speech therapy techniques that can help your child overcome his speech disorder. It’s always a good idea to collaborate closely with the SLP and discuss ways of incorporating speech therapy techniques into your child’s daily routine at home. As well, ask your SLP about some toys and tools that are particularly good for speech therapy that you can add to your child’s wish list this holiday season.
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