Many new and first-time parents are understandably reluctant to accept that their child might need assistance with speech and language processing, writing off the delays and issues the child has as a regular childhood quirk. No one wants to admit there is anything wrong with their perfect baby. With statistics showing that a kid’s chances of having long-term stuttering problems increase if they’ve been stuttering for over six months, the truth is that early intervention with an expert can make a big difference in the rest of your child’s life.
Pay Attention to Teacher Recommendations
Whether your child is attending a public or private school, teachers can provide insight into whether they are meeting the milestones expected for their age and grade level. If your child is behind many of the other children and struggles to say words other children the same age can pronounce, this is a good indication of a larger issue.
Children who struggle to keep up in conversation with others their age might need some extra help, and your child’s teacher is ideally placed to observe their socialization habits. In some cases, the school may have a speech therapist they work with whom you can visit or who comes into the school to work with students. As of 2019, an estimated 5.8 million kids went to private schools around the nation, and students have a variety of needs that need to be addressed. Thankfully, private schools often have these additional resources to help children who attend the school.
Signs Your Child Needs to Visit a Speech Therapist
Signs your child might need to see a speech therapist can include lack of speech by the age of two, using a limited number of words, having trouble expressing themselves or using words that have certain sounds, and an inability to converse with children their own age. While these can be signs that your child is lagging behind their peers, they can also be signs of larger issues with speech, especially if your child is experiencing more than one of these issues at the same time. Seeing a professional is the only way for you to know for sure.
What to Expect From a Speech Therapist
A speech therapist can evaluate the issues your child is having to see if they are physical or neurological in nature. This helps determine the course of action you should take to resolve the issue. They will also help your child practice parts of speech that are difficult for them and come up with exercises to make these sounds easier and more natural for the child. They may recommend you see a doctor for physical issues that are holding the child back, like misshapen parts of the mouth or pallette.
The speech therapist can also give recommendations for changes you can make at home or school to benefit your child’s overall progress. If they currently attend a large, public school, the therapist may recommend switching them to a private school environment in Detroit, as they can get more individual attention from teachers. 10% of children go to a private school, and class sizes are smaller than the typical public school. They may also recommend more reading at home to help the child recognize more words on sight and to use flashcards to help reinforce concepts the speech therapist has taught them in session.
With early intervention and some expert help for your kid’s speech problems, you can eliminate the difficulty your child has with speech and put them on the right road to be successful in the long term.