How to Help Your Child Overcome His or Her Speech Delays

Before trying to help your child with a speech delay, you need to determine why the delay is present in the first place. It could be a medical condition that involves professional therapy, or it could be a social issue where your child is embarrassed to talk in front of other people. You are the best teacher that your child will have whether the child can talk properly or not. There are several activities that you can do with your child to teach letters and how to put words together to make sentences. Sometimes, it just takes encouragement so that the child can express feelings in the form of words.

Eliminate Background Noise

When you’re trying to get children to learn to talk appropriately, you don’t want them to listen to the jargon that is used by people who are on television and in movies. You can hear everything from slang to shortened words when your child needs to learn the correct way to pronounce letters and words. Children often pick up on accents that are heard on the television and in movies, especially from shows that are frequently watched in the home. While there are some educational programs that teach children how to say letters, it’s best to leave teaching up to you and others who are in the home.

Seek Professional Therapy

There are numerous speech therapists who can work with your child in the classroom or at home. You can also take your child to the therapist’s office. An advantage of meeting with the professional in school is that the child will be in a class alone during the session or with one or two other children who are having similar issues with speech. Most therapists will offer some type of reward for reaching milestones, which can encourage the child to work harder when it comes to speaking correctly. When searching for a speech therapist, look at the educational background as you want someone who has training and experience in working with children in this fashion. If you see that they have their bachelors in communication disorders, then that is definitely a good sign that they have proper education.

Make Magnets

Many children will learn while playing. One way that you can help with speech delays is to create a large wall or a portable board with a magnetic surface. Make magnets with letters that are designed to look like letters. Your child can put the letters on the surface while you teach how to correctly say the letters. Once this concept is mastered, you can then start making words together. Magnets can be used anywhere in the home that there is a surface accepting of the material, so your child could put them on the refrigerator while you’re cooking in the kitchen. You can also make magnets of your child’s favorite things, such as a food or a toy. It will help with identifying what an object looks like and associating it with a word.

Work With the Mouth

When a child has a speech delay, it’s sometimes caused by the muscles of the mouth not working as they should. One way to strengthen the muscles is to play a game with straws. Each of you can sit on one side of the floor, blowing a cotton ball or a balloon back and forth. Make it fun so that the child thinks it’s a game. While playing, the child will be using muscles in the mouth, making them stronger for talking.

At times, you might want your child to stop talking because he lets you know about everything that happens during the day. When your child has a delay in speech, it can affect social relationships and the self-esteem. Start young in working with the child to get an understanding of what’s going on and to get the child on track with speech classes and learning.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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