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What parents can anticipate in children’s speech therapy?

Let us walk you through two different studies on speech issues in kids. Sorry, we know we are jumping straight to the point but the issue is such that there is no point in beating around the bush.

Anyway, according to a study conducted by the NCBI (National Library of Medicine), which involved 130 kids aged between 12 and 35 months, 16.27% kids experienced speech and language delays in their journey of growth.

That is not all. According to an article published in the Deccan Herald, instances of speech disorder issues among children have increased post the COVID-19 pandemic. Doctors have found that kids born between 2018 and 2019 are not only unable to string a proper sentence together. Instead, kids with speech issues end up speaking gibberish like the cartoons they watch.

This points to a problem. A problem that can be fixed. Talk about silver linings, eh? Speech therapy can actually be a life-saver if your kid suffers from speech-related issues. Here is all that you need to know about this therapy, including what it is and if your kid needs it.

What is speech therapy?

As a parent, it is natural for you to have the question of ‘what is speech therapy’ on your mind.

In its simplest form, speech therapy is all about helping people speak more coherently. More lucidly.

How? By removing speech impediments.

You see, the purpose of speech therapy is to ensure that the afflicted can improve their pronunciation, strengthen the muscles that are used for speaking and speak correct sentences with the help of a speech therapist.

Needless to say, this can be really beneficial for kids with speech issues.

Importance of speech therapy

Now let us talk about the importance of speech therapy because you know what? It really is very important. Consider it as a cure for your kids’ speech issues. A pretty good cure too.

You see, speech impediments (or issues, call it what you will) can manifest themselves in quite a few forms. Your kid may have social communication disorder. Or cognitive communication disorder. They may stutter. Or they may have difficulty in using and/or understanding language. They may even have difficulty swallowing!

Anyway, the thing is speech therapy can help fix all of that so your child can speak, communicate and express themselves just as clearly as everybody else does. And that is a major confidence booster for kids. Not to mention that it also benefits their academic performance and social relationships. So it really is not difficult to see why speech therapy is so important for kids with speech issues.

Speech therapy for kids – signs your kid needs it, how it works and when should it start 

As a general rule of thumb, if your child does not start speaking or developing language and speech based abilities at an appropriate age, it may be a sign that they need speech therapy.

Speech therapy for kids might also be necessary if:

  • Your child does not start babbling when 6 months old
  • Your child has a hard time swallowing things
  • Your child is 1 years old but has not spoken their first word yet
  • Your child is 2 years and unable to form simple phrases
  • You cannot understand what your child speaks
  • Your child tends to omit certain syllables or sounds when talking
  • They cannot follow spoken language all that well
  • Their vocabulary is poor for their age
  • They stutter
  • Their voice quality changes
  • They have hearing loss
  • Or a cleft lip

Now that is a lot and we are pretty sure you might be wondering when should speech therapy for kids begin if your child starts showing signs as early as 6 months of age by not babbling?

Well, experts recommend starting speech therapy as soon as possible. In fact, speech therapy sessions are recommended for toddlers too, going right up to kids who are in elementary school. Basically, you can start speech therapy at any age but the sooner the better.

As for how speech therapy works, it depends at the age in which your child begins receiving therapy. Normally a speech therapist tries to correct your child’s diction, pronunciation and vocabulary through a bunch of different activities. This could be anything, from interacting to playing and teaching including giving homework!

Speech therapy activities for kids

Therapists use loads of various speech therapy activities for kids to help them get on the right track. Such as:

  • Encouraging kids to ask questions, give answers and make requests using the correct words and sentence structure.
  • Improving their diction by modelling speech sounds so kids can pick up the individual sounds of different letters.
  • Labelling objects and everyday routines so that your kid’s vocabulary can get a boost.
  • Playing a bunch of fun games such as I Spy and Word Search so kids can get a hang of the right words without getting stressed out.
  • Using articulation apps so kids can pick up sound cues even when the session is over and they are on their own practising what they have learnt.
  • Introducing new concepts such as colours and shapes to enrich a child’s understanding of things.

All of these combined can help your child break the barrier of speech impediments and learn to talk in a clear and coherent manner.

Benefits of speech therapy for kids

Somewhere you already know we are going to tell you that the benefits of speech therapy for kids are indeed many. If you still do not believe us, check these out and you will be convinced too:

  • Curing several speech impediments such as stuttering, voice disorders, language disorders and much more.
  • Helping your child express themselves better so they can get their point across in a sensible manner.
  • Increasing your child’s self confidence as they can express what they feel coherently.
  • Improving your kid’s academic performance as speech therapy can greatly enhance their understanding.
  • Improving your kid’s social relationships as they can now have better, more meaningful interpersonal interactions with their peers. And you too of course.
  • Imparting your kid with fluency of speech while dramatically improving their vocabulary and grammar.
  • Making your kid more independent as they now do not have to depend on anyone else to interpret and convey what they are saying.
  • Improving their swallowing function as that can be a real problem for kids who have speech issues.
  • And finally, just in general, improving their overall quality of life, which is a big boon, no doubt.

As for how long your kid will need speech therapy, that varies from child to child. Only your speech therapist can tell you how long the prognosis is. But the good news is, once treatment for speech issues begins, there is almost absolute certainty that your kid will learn to talk like everybody else. And truly, that is all the silver lining a parent needs. For more such interesting blogs, visit EuroKids.

Please note the information provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice. EuroKids encourages you to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for any health concerns your child may have. The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases.

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