The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) defines a communication disorder as a condition that impairs one’s ability to send, receive, process, and understand some aspects of communication. These could be verbal, non-verbal, or graphic symbol systems.
Approximately one-fifth of Americans have experienced the loss of hearing. In total, there are 40 million Americans diagnosed with communication disorders. One of the most common communication impairments is a speech disorder. Though adults are also affected, it is more prominent in children.
Fortunately, through speech therapy, a child’s speech development can be brought back on track. To do this, pediatric speech therapists evaluate your child’s speech and language skills based on their age. From there, they develop a customized treatment plan to accelerate their speech development.
However, how this development progresses mostly depends on the parents. Studies on child speech development indicate a direct relationship between a child’s grasp of language with how much they are read to or spoken. Therefore, parents are best positioned to hone their children’s language skills.
Read on to find out how you can supplement your child’s speech therapy.
Learn! Learn! Learn!
Once you realize that your child may be lagging in speech development, take your time to research and learn about the best ways to help them in addition to speech therapy.
By educating yourself, you will be better placed to understand your child’s needs better and assist them.
Play Your Role in the Therapy
The most important aspects of speech therapy take place in between sessions with speech therapists and your child. However, it’s the parents’ role to ensure that they help the child follow through with their speech therapy program outside of the office.
Take it upon yourself to learn the exercises and come up with a practice schedule where you assist the child. To ensure they are not discouraged to keep trying, do not put too much pressure on them. Try making the sessions fun and interactive so that your child looks forward to them.
Let Your Curiosity Out
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to speech therapy. That’s why therapists recommend a customized program for each child. The exercises pediatric speech therapists recommend are based on their evaluation as well as all the information you give them.
Therefore, it is important to give as many details as you can during the evaluation. To ensure you do not leave anything out, start noting specific speech challenges your child has before your appointment and write them down.
You should also not be afraid to ask questions. Even if the concerns you have may seem silly, they may help the therapist make a more informed decision. Your child may also have questions and concerns but might fear asking the therapist. In this regard, you should be their advocate and speak up for them. By doing so, you help develop your child’s desire to commit to the program, which will help them improve even faster.
Keep Your Child Engaged
Other effective techniques to keep your child engaged include:
- Reading together
- Tell engaging stories with catchy and adventurous characters
- Listen to music together and singing along
Take Advantage of the Opportunity
The silver lining with speech therapy is that it allows you to interact and bond with your child. If you are empathetic, supportive, and make the learning process fun, you will develop an unbreakable connection with your child.
Want to learn more? Rely on Clear Speech to help your child get the hands-on speech therapy they need to thrive.