Speech Therapy for Children Explained

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We pamper our Children and overlook certain signs of speech disorders. These could be stammering also known as stuttering or lisping. Some parents believe that their children will slowly outgrow these disorders. In some of the cases, the late bloomers do outgrow these disorders. But some disorders are permanent in nature. Read about the myths and the facts about Speech Therapy to clear your doubts. It is possible that you are unable to confirm the signs of speech disorders. Discuss with your child’s kindergarten teacher. She is better trained to notice such disorders. It is very important that Speech therapy for children starts at an early age. Delay in speech therapy for children can affect the child’s self-confidence.

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When is Speech Therapy for Children Required?

Therapy for Children should start at the earliest. Delay in treatment can lead to social issues. One way to detect speech disorders is to compare the child with other children of the same age group. Do not neglect if your child is showing signs of delayed speech development. Children with speech disorders are often shy and lack communication skills. Contact a Child Speech Therapist at the earliest. Search for a Speech Therapist nearby as the treatment needs many sessions. For parents in India, kindly go to our Helpline and put in your request. We will mail the list of Speech Therapist’s in your area. Speech Therapy at home is also possible.

How does Speech Therapy for Children Help?

Speech Therapy helps the child to lead a normal life. Language skills are very important for communication.

Speech Therapy helps in the treatment of the following disorders

  • Articulation Disorder

When the child has difficulty in pronouncing certain words. The words are not clear and often not understood by others.

  • Fluency Disorder

Stammering or Stuttering is the most common Fluency disorder. There is an interruption in the flow of speech by repetition of words.

  • Voice Disorder

A child having voice disorder does not complete the sentence. In this case, the child starts to speak and then starts mumbling halfway through the sentence.

What other Disorders Does Speech Therapy Treat?

Other major disorders are also treated by the Speech Therapist. Speech Therapy for Children is a must wherever verbal communication needs improvement.

Hearing Impaired Girl Child image
Hearing Impaired Girl Child
  • Hearing Impairment or Hearing Loss

Children suffering from undetected Hearing loss do not speak. They are unable to speak as they cannot hear and learn. The Child Speech therapist and Audiologist will check the hearing. They will prescribe the right remedy in case of Hearing loss. If it’s a case of Sensorineural Hearing loss, a Hearing aid or a Cochlear Implant is the solution.

After fitting the Hearing aid or a Cochlear Implant, speech therapy is the next step.

  • Speech Therapy for Children with Cochlear Implants

Therapy for children using Cochlear implants or Hearing aids is also known as Auditory-Verbal Therapy. The therapy specialises in teaching the child to recognise the words. In most cases, the child with Cochlear Implant has little or no previous exposure to speech.

  • Speech Therapy for Cognitive Development

The Cognitive Development in a child takes place from birth to around 5 years of age. Cognitive development involves the pre-reading stage. Children learn to visualise, imagine, to remember things and solve simple problems. The Child Speech Therapist can diagnose if there are any delays in cognitive development.

  • Speech Therapy for Children with Swallowing Disorders

In case, the child has difficulty in swallowing food, we should consult a Speech Therapist. The swallowing problems in children are also known as Pediatric Dysphagia. The symptoms are slow eating and difficulty in swallowing food. Speech Therapy for children involves exercises to strengthen the muscles. Dysphagia is also common in adults.

  • Speech Therapy for Children with Autism

Autism is basically a neuro-developmental disorder. A child suffering from autism has difficulty in social interactions. The child also has difficulty in communication and a pattern of repetitive behaviour. Autism is not a speech disorder. The Speech Therapist helps in improving the overall communication skills.

  • Speech Therapy for Children with Cleft Palate or Cleft Lip

Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate image
Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate

Cleft Palate or Cleft lip is a birth disorder. Cleft means a split or division between two surfaces. A Cleft lip divides the lip into two parts. Similarly, a Cleft Palate divides the Palate into two. In the case of Cleft Palate, the palate or the roof of the mouth has a hole. This hole connects to the nose. This abnormality causes speech and Hearing problems. The Cleft Palate and the Cleft lip can be surgically rectified. Speech therapy is a must after the operation. Speech Therapy helps in the formation and pronouncing of words.

  • Speech Therapy for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy is a birth disorder. It affects muscle coordination or impairment of motor functions. Speech Therapy in children with Cerebral Palsy helps in muscle control. The Therapy strengthens the oral and facial muscles. The exercises help to improve communication skills.

  • Speech Therapy for Children with Hyperactivity Disorder

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder also have learning disabilities and behavioural issues. It is also known as ADHD. The Speech Therapist uses behaviour therapy to channelise their energy. Playing outdoor sports and other games are one way of channelising the energy. A Child therapist will make them relax and calm them down.

Speech Therapist teaching a child to speak
Speech Therapist teaching a Child to speak

Speech Therapy for Children with Delayed Speech and Language Development

Most language and speech developments are associated with the above listed disorders. At times the delay is not due to any speech disorder. The reasons could be psychological. Lack of parent’s interaction with the child and neglect can result in delayed development. Parents should talk, sing and answer questions to help the child develop language skill.

Do Not Delay Speech Therapy for Children

Effective Speech therapy for children can make all the difference in a Childs life. The Speech Therapist assists the child to speak normally & be confident. Early intervention or Speech therapy for children helps the child to join the main stream.

A Speech Therapist or a Speech Language Pathologist is a trained para-medical professional. Speech therapy helps the children having written language issues and difficulty in expressing themselves. The child must take many sessions of speech therapy before the results are visible.

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