Speech disorders are more prevalent than many think. If you are the parent of a child with one of these disorders, it’s up to you to provide your child with a significant amount of support.
Early intervention is essential to help ensure that a childhood speech impediment doesn’t become a lifelong social barrier for your child. Below are a few ways you can help your child with their speech disorder.
Read with Them
Reading to your child can be incredibly helpful, especially if they have a speech disorder. Though reading is always helpful for instilling a love of language, reading out loud helps to provide a model for how to pronounce words.
This, in turn, can support your child’s ability to speak properly and even provide support for any therapy in which he or she might be enrolled. Having your child read along is an important element, as well. This gives them structured one-on-one feedback on where they need to improve and how to pronounce their words.
Record and Listen
If your child is older, it might be a good idea to let them record their voice. This will allow your child to hear what they sound like, giving the child a chance to focus on areas of weakness and to gauge their progress over their speech problems.
While this isn’t quite as useful for younger children, it can be a great tool for older kids who want to be more involved with their own treatment. This can also help bring greater awareness to your child of where they struggle and what it sounds like when they are speaking correctly.
Singing lessons can also play a role in helping with speech issues. Speech lessons are more about just hitting the right pitch—they have quite a bit to do with things like volume control, enunciation, and even proper breathing. If your child has difficulty with speech, allowing him or her to take singing lessons may be a way to allow your child to make significant progress. Practicing good breathing, resonance, and pronunciation through singing is a great way for a child to better understand how they can alter the sound and consistency of their speech.
It’s vital that any child with a speech issue works with a licensed speech therapist. Taking the time to look at therapy solutions for speech issues should help you to find a therapist in your area who can help your child. Early intervention is essential for helping children overcome speech problems before they reach adulthood.
A therapist can help coordinate a variety of therapy methods, including many of the options mentioned above, to address your child’s particular struggle.
If your child has speech problems, do what you can to support him or her. Read to your child, look into singing lessons, and find a good therapist who will help your child to overcome the obstacles that may be in their way. It may take quite a bit of effort, but you’d be surprised by the progress a child can make when they have the right kind of support available.