It’s normal for parents to worry about their child when they exhibit some type of speech-language issue. Will they be able to succeed in school?
If you’re concerned about your child’s speech development, it is important to contact a professional speech therapist. Don’t worry, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But with the right strategies from a speech therapist will give you the tools that will work best for your child’s particular issue. Creating manageable steps and special exercises to help your child communicate and be understood.
Practice is important. For instance, if your child has a difficult time making the “t” sound, prompt them to make the sound by itself. When the sound is easier for them to make, incorporate a vowel with it. Such as “te-te-te” or “to-to-to”, before starting with actual words. Remember, repetition is key. After completing an exercise, celebrate with a happy dance or something fun.
Focus on what your child can do
Instead of focusing on what your child has issues with, focus on their improvements. Praise successful victories, being nice to their friends or picking up their toys.
Keep distractions to a minimum
Keeping distractions and noise to a minimum can also help. According to a population based study, language development can be delayed when a child watches too much television. This happened because parents and caregivers spoke less to the child. Children learn speech, language, and communication, better when they are spoken to.
Don’t forget to listen
Be attentive, ask questions, and be patient with their response. Expecting a quick response from your child or interrupting them can create anxiety. Try not to add any pressure, but attempt to keep the conversation natural.
Read to your child
Strengthen your child’s confidence and speech by reading a favorite or well known book. Ask if they can explain the pictures, remember the context, or say the words with you.
Blowing through a straw helps develop strong mouth muscle. Whether it is drinking through them or playing a game. For instance, have them blow through a straw towards a ping pong ball to a goal on the other side of a table, or see how long they can suck in the air from a straw to keep the ping ball on the end.
Team up with a speech therapist for success
Speaking clearly and good communication is key to your child’s success in the future. The most important things you can do to help is to consult with a speech-language therapist, be patient, have a conversation and speak clearly to your child.