3 Ways You Can Help Your Child If He Or She Has Speech Difficulties
All children develop at their own pace and reach milestones at different times. This includes developing speech and learning how to articulate properly. However, there are some children who struggle with speech for a number of reasons, and they may not be able to speak properly, making it difficult for others to understand them. As a parent, it is natural to be concerned if your child has speech difficulties. Luckily, there are many resources for children who are struggling with speech and articulation. Use the following tips to help your child if he or she is having difficulty with speech:
Schedule an Evaluation
It is not uncommon for parents to feel that their child will eventually begin speaking properly on their own. But, if your child has a speech issue, that is not likely to happen. In the event that your child's speech ability is far below that of his or her similar-aged peers, the best thing that you can do is have your child evaluated by a speech-language pathologist. An experienced pathologist can determine what is causing your child's speech issues and can then develop a plan to help him or her.
Take Your Child to Speech Therapy
If a pathologist determines that your child has an underlying issue that is causing his or her speech, regular speech therapy sessions are essential if you want your child's speech to improve. Some children may need several speech therapy sessions a week in order to meet goals, while kids with less severe speech problems may not need speech therapy as often. Speech therapy is often offered by school districts, but you can also opt to take your child to a private speech-language pathologist for speech therapy sessions. Some health insurance plans will cover the cost of private speech therapy.
Practice with Your Child
Regular speech therapy sessions with a licensed speech-language pathologist are very important, but as a parent, you can also help your child outside of speech therapy sessions. Talk to your child's speech-language pathologist and ask about exercises and activities that you can do at home to help improve your child's speech and articulation. Try to make it fun for your child so he or she enjoys working on speech activities with you. Always be patient when working with your child on speech exercises, and focus on positive reinforcement instead of pointing out mistakes.
Speech therapy can be the perfect solution for your child if they are struggling. Talk to a local pathologist for more information on how to get started.