Pediatric speech therapy

If you have a child under the age of 18 who has difficulties with letter or word pronunciation, or even has difficulty speaking in general, they may require pediatric speech therapy. A speech therapist will also, typically, have experience of working with mentally and physically disabled children. However not all children who require speech therapy are mentally or physically disabled. Many are considered to be academically average and merely have trouble with basic communication.

Initially it is important to determine the specific problems that a child is having prior to pediatric speech therapy. You may find that some children suffer from a stutter or stammer whenever they speak, whereas others will have extreme difficulty when attempting to pronounce certain letters or even entire words. Pediatric speech therapy has also been known to be extremely beneficial for children who have trouble hearing. This is mainly due to the difficulty that they will encounter when trying to understand the exact sounds each letter is supposed to make. During pediatric speech therapy, most children will be asked to repeat certain words or sounds or even write words or practice rhyming.

Only once the specific problem has been determined can it be decided whether or not a child will benefit from ongoing pediatric speech therapy. A therapist will typically schedule appointments based on a child’s condition and how severe that condition is. A session can take place in numerous locations, whether this will be on certain days at school, or after school at the child’s home or the therapist’s office. Depending on the actual condition and the age of the child, a speech therapy session will usually last anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes.

While a child is undergoing pediatric speech therapy they will often be asked to read aloud and repeat various words and phrases. They will also be asked to use numerous alliteration and rhyming techniques. You will also find that a therapist will often read a story aloud and then asked the child to answer questions about that specific story. Pediatric speech therapy treatment can last for just a matter of weeks or up to many years. This will very much depend on how severe the actual condition is. For example if a child suffers with a hearing impairment, they are likely to receive treatment throughout their childhood to ensure that their reading and speaking is improving. Once new speech patterns are formed and many of the obstacles have been overcome, you may find that sessions will become less frequent.

Pediatric speech therapy has often been used to help children who have trouble learning to read. As you may well be aware, a lack of proper reading skills can result in lower grades at school and communication problems in later life. This is often tackled by a speech therapist helping a child to read a story or schoolbook aloud. This, in turn, will help the child to learn the actual rhythm and sound that a written word makes. It is also a great way of allowing someone to become more comfortable reading in front of other people. One of the major difficulties suffered by children with speech or hearing problems is a lack of confidence. This technique is known to make reading far easier to grasp and can help to instil confidence in any child.

It is often hard to know whether your child needs pediatric speech therapy at a young age. Many toddlers and children aged between 18 months and 3 years will often mispronounce words. In actual fact it may soon become a guessing game as you can’t figure out exactly what your child is trying to say. Young children are well known for pronouncing words incorrectly or even substituting one letter for another. However this will not immediately mean that they require pediatric speech therapy.

A sign of potential problems is not so much your child’s pronunciation of words, but if they do very little talking or never talk at all. It is often best to have your child evaluated between 20 to 24 months. The most important aspect is to ensure that your child‘s speech is improving over time. By the time a child reaches the age of three, pretty much everything they say should be understandable.

We are fully aware that effective communication is essential in any child’s life – whether it helps a child to achieve success at home, at school or within the community in general. Therefore in order to allow your child to reach their full potential, it is very important to identify and treat any speech-language, speech development and voice problems as early as possible. If you are ever in any doubt, you should look to approach a speech therapist as soon as possible. If nothing else, at least they can put your mind at ease.

Last updated on Apr 13th, 2011 and filed under Mental Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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