Speech disorder is any condition that impedes a child’s ability to communicate through sound. It could be a physical or a medical condition. Speech disorders are different from language disorders which are due to the inability to learn and process language as means of communication. There are many kinds of speech disorders. Speech disorders can be fluency disorder, articulation disorder or voice disorder. The common ones are stuttering or stammering which is a type of fluency disorder. Most of the speech disorders can be cured or managed with proper treatment and therapy.
1. The most important way to help a child with suspected speech disorder is to get a diagnosis from a professional speech therapist. Do not conclude the disorder yourself. Get a professional opinion from more than one doctor if possible to diagnose the disorder. Early intervention improves the prognosis. So, get the diagnosis as early as you can.
2. The next best way to help the child is to understand the treatment plan and follow it to the T. Speech disorders take time to improve. So, do not become impatient and give up hope. Follow the doctor’s orders and help your child with the therapy.
3. Ferry your child to all the therapy sessions that they need to attend. Be patient when they struggle to overcome their limitations. It’s a long road to recovery and your efforts count as much as your child’s efforts.
4. Become your child’s cheerleading squad and celebrate every milestone they cross and every accomplishment they achieve. Your positive and cheerful disposition will give your child the boost to their morale. Children with speech disorder tend to be introverted as they fear ridicule from their peers. So, your encouragement goes a long way in giving them confidence.
5. Speech disorder is not the end of the road for your child’s social and personal life. Plan social activities for your child that help them become strong and confident individuals. Take them out to do fun things and treat them like any other normal child. Don’t let their impediment define them as an individual.
6. Learn the sign language if it is needed to communicate better with your child. It can help bridge the gap in communication and relieve most of the frustration that arises out of the lack in communication. A child with speech disorder will have lots to talk about but, have limited ways to communicate. So, be your child’s voice and help them articulate their thoughts. Read books aloud to them and get them introduced to the world of books. This will help them improve their vocabulary which helps with the language development.
Be your child’s pillar of strength and confidante. Your child will feel lucky to have you along with them in their journey to recovery from their speech disorder. Be positive and with your encouragement, they will be able to overcome their limitations.