According to studies, 5% of children have speech problems. An articulation disorder can cause frustration, stress, and social challenges. A professional with pediatric speech therapy training can evaluate their needs and develop a strategy for speech correction.
Involving the parent can accelerate the progress and make the experience easier for the child. Here are some benefits of family involvement in therapy sessions.
Understanding the Child
The family can help a pediatric speech therapist understand the personality of the child. During the sessions, the therapist can evaluate how different situations may motivate or frustrate your little one. The family can then chip in and offer some further insights to the therapist. A trained professional will then develop an approach that can produce consistent results throughout the process.
After the therapy session, the exercises should continue at home. It will take many hours to do language and speech exercises. Family involvement equips people around the child with tools to provide support and enable faster progress.
Parents as the First Teachers
Research by the LENA foundation found that parent conversations have a strong impact on the child’s language development. Researchers also found that parents verbalizing their inner dialogue can be beneficial for encouraging vocalization.
Family members or caregivers inevitably influence the little one’s language development. However, it involves more than their mere presence around the child. The interactions with parents and the language support strategies they adapt can help with speech clarity.
To Encourage Engagement and Regular Practice
Part of the job of a pediatric physical therapist is to encourage parents to integrate child vocabulary practice into their daily routine. It may involve repeating words and phrases on the ride home from school or when waiting in line at the store.
The practice sessions can be done at any time rather than at specific times during the week. This helps spark spontaneity and avoids routine where the child might get bored. That way, there is are more opportunities for learning in surroundings where the child feels relaxed.
Restore the Parent’s Confidence
Besides having a positive effect on language development, parent involvement also helps parents understand pediatric speech therapy. Parents need to understand the strategies since practicing at home is part of the process.
Studies also show that parents can be as effective as therapists at speech correction. Sessions help to establish a foundation for teaching children. It validates the parent’s concerns and fears and helps them gain the confidence to help the child through the process.
As a Source of Quality Feedback
Another reason to involve parents is to get quality feedback after pediatric therapy sessions. Since the family is always with the child when practicing, they can provide insights that the therapist may miss.
Additionally, most parents prefer to speak to a professional, rather than friends or other family members. A therapist can use the feedback they get to pinpoint the problem areas and work with the family for better results. Therapists can also clarify areas that parents may be struggling with, which ensures that the child is being guided towards correcting their speech.
A United Front
There is no doubt that involving the family is beneficial for speech correction. But parents should take their child for pediatric speech therapy sessions. That way, they can learn strategies and gain insights that will boost the progress of language development.