Speech Therapy for Children: What it is, How it works & Why you need it?
Speech Therapy for Children
If your child cannot speak or communicate properly, it can be due to various reasons. Speech therapy can effectively treat such problems followed by a thorough evaluation of them. Here is everything you need to learn about speech therapy for children.
Why does your child need speech therapy?
Your child will require speech therapy if he/she cannot speak or communicate with you normally. Speech disorders may stem from:
- Developmental impairments
- Structural abnormalities
- Muscular paralysis
- Nerve injuries or damage to the brain
Babies with delayed speech development may show symptoms as early as 3 months. By 12 months, they begin to react when addressed. If your kid doesn’t react to your calls or hand gestures like pointing or waving, it’s a concern. By the age of 2 years, your kid is expected to speak the first word. But if he/she cannot vocalize or is relying on powerful gestures to communicate with you, contact an experienced speech pathologist in Delhi right away.
| Also Read: What is a Speech Disorder? |
How does speech therapy work?
During speech therapy assessment, your kid will learn the ways of overcoming his/her speech impairments. The child is made to feel safe and comfortable. He/she is engaged in speech therapy exercises in small groups in a classroom. One-on-one interaction with your child is ensured for better results. During this time, the following effective speech therapy techniques are used:
- Articulation therapy:This is a kind of “ABC” speech therapy. It comes with exercises to help your kid learn sounds and how to pronounce letters, syllables and words. These exercises are age-specific and according to your kid’s therapy requirements. He/she will learn the pronunciation of specific letters like ‘r’ or ‘t’ with the right ways of moving the tongue.
- Language activities:Such activities include talking to your child while encouraging him/her to play with books or objects to stimulate language development. The SPL repeats the exercises of speech and language therapy to improve these skills in the kid.
- Swallowing and Feeding Therapy:If your child faces problems with eating and swallowing, he/she is encouraged to do different exercises of the jaw, tongue and lips. This can help in strengthening the muscles of his/her mouth. The speech therapy doctoralso trains your kid to work with varying food textures and temperatures to improve his/her awareness during chewing and swallowing.
| Also Read: What does speech therapy entail?|
What do speech therapists help with?
A speech therapist can help treat the following conditions in your kid:
- Stuttering/stammering: Stuttering in children is marked by a fluency problem in which they tend to prolong or repeat sounds, syllables, words or phrases. Such a kid knows what he/she wants to say but has difficulty speaking distinctly or in a natural flow. This can be effectively treated with speech therapy for stammering.
- Apraxia: This condition creates problems with the speech in a child. It may be caused by injury to the parts of his/her brain that help to process speech. This affects the motor aspects of the production of speech. However, it can be treated well with speech therapy for children.
- Autism: It includes a group of neurodevelopmental problems. Autism leads to difficulties with communication, including trouble maintaining a back-and-forth conversation and sharing interests or emotions verbally (and non-verbally). A child with this disorder may also have repetitive speech patterns. It can lead to other kinds of receptive speech disorders if not treated early. The best solution is speech therapy for children.
- Dyslexia: It involves a learning problem. An affected child may find trouble reading because of problems identifying speech sounds and learning the way they are associated with letters and words (also called decoding). Hence, this disorder is also known as reading disability which damages the parts of the brain responsible for processing language. Speech and language therapy can be helpful in this case.
- Articulation disorders: They can impair the production of sound with the coordinated movements of the palate, teeth, tongue, lips and respiratory system. Hence, an affected kid may call a “rabbit” a “wabbit”. If he/she has phonological issues, the sounds would be made correctly but used in improper positions of a word. Mispronunciations of words or trouble with other language development areas may also happen. Speech therapy can treat this too.
- Specific language impairment (SLI): SLI is a condition that leads to problems with the development of language skills in kids. This condition may affect how kids listen, speak, write and read. Speech therapy doctors often see it as a developmental dysphasia, language delay or developmental language problem. The condition may remain as a child enters adulthood. Speech therapy can improve his/her particular concerns and benefits work and social life.
- Voice problem: It may affect a child with discomfort or pain when they speak or trouble controlling the quality, loudness or pitch of the voice. He/she may have a vocal cord issue marked by breathiness or hoarseness of voice. This can also be managed with speech therapy.
- Auditory processing disorder: It refers to a hearing problem in which the brain fails to process sounds properly. If your child has this disorder, he/she may also have difficulty understanding speech. This may, in turn, affect his self-expression. Some speech therapy doctors also treat this disorder so that both the hearing and speech abilities of the child can improve.
- Expressive disorder: It involves problems to convey or express information. An affected child may find it difficult to form proper sentences by, for instance, using the wrong tenses of verbs. This disorder is related to developmental disabilities like hearing loss and Down syndrome. It may also occur due to a medical problem or head trauma. Speech therapy can treat it.
How successful is speech therapy?
If your child receives speech therapy in Delhi as early as possible, treatment can be highly successful. Delay in being treated can only cause the particular speech problem to worsen. Then it may take more time to be treated.
A successful speech therapy experience can benefit your child in the following ways:
- Better communication between the brain and body with articulation therapy.Speech therapy can help a stutterer to slow down their speech, in addition to helping them notice when they stutter. This treatment includes speaking slowly and deliberately in the beginning and gradually developing a more natural pattern of speech. Speech therapy for stuttering also helps a person to monitor their rate of speech, breath support as well as laryngeal tension when they speak.
- An improvement in the learning of language due to stimulation of language communication. So, your kid can learn through positive reinforcement, how to use language.
- Speech fluency.
- Better vocal quality.
- An improvement in the ability to solve problems.
- A boost to self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Increased independence.
How long will treatment last?
The duration for which a child must continue with speech therapy in Delhi depends on the following factors:
- The child’s age
- Kind and severity of his/her speech condition
- Underlying medical condition and its treatment (if any)
- Frequency of therapy
If treated early, a speech disorder may be managed before the child enters adulthood.
You can visit Tarang Clinics right away to consult the best speech therapy specialists in Delhi if your child has speech and language disorders. You can readily discuss the cost of a speech therapy session with the experts if your kid needs one.