How to Spot and Cope with Your Young Child’s Speech Problems
If you think your toddler is having trouble developing speech properly, a speech pathology doctor can help ease his concerns or create a positive therapy regimen to get them back on track. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if a young child has a problem or is just developing differently. Each child develops at their own pace and has different personalities. One child may be particularly talkative and another may have excellent speech skills, but simply be more reserved. It’s easy to worry about your child, but if you stay in good communication with your doctor, you can address any issues, should they arise.
For a young child, some speech problems are typical, such as difficulty making certain sounds or periods when he does not speak much due to playfulness or shyness. If you have reason to believe that there may be a problem beyond normal circumstances, take a few notes before your child’s next visit to your child’s doctor. The more information the doctor can be given, the better the diagnosis he can make through speech pathology. Start with the words your child understands. Pay attention to how well they understand when you ask them questions, tell them stories, and interact with them.
It is said that it is quite normal for young children to understand words perfectly, but do not have the skills to use them. It takes time to develop vocabulary. See how much they talk when they interact with you and what other things they do to prove their point. If your child wants something, they may just not know the words. Speech pathology supports that if they use complex gestures, such as grabbing your hand and leading you towards an item or pointing to something out of reach, then you are on the right track. It means they are learning. Once they understand, children usually start talking in no time. It may be helpful to praise them when they use words, rather than gestures.
Speech pathology studies show that making certain sounds in the English language is complicated and difficult to do correctly for most young children. Some medical professionals think you should encourage them to try it. If they make a mistake, congratulate them for the effort and gently repeat the word with the correct pronunciation. Pay attention to how your words are formed and whether there seems to be a problem with the formation of a particular sound. Common sense dictates that with practice, they will soon get it right. However, it might be smart to tell your doctor if you notice a constant problem.
To see if your child is developing at a normal rate or if he needs a little help, the doctor will do some simple tests. The field of speech pathology has some benchmarks by which you can measure your child’s ability. The information you provide about your daily interactions is key. A hearing test can be used, along with some simple interactions for the doctor to assess cognitive levels. In many cases, the child is fine and simply needs more time to continue on his way. In other cases, problems can be adjusted with simple therapy methods. Children often continue to develop, without a trace of the previous problem.
Remember to check with your doctor before taking any medical treatment or remedy.