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Why Early Intervention is Essential for Treating Speech Impediments in Children

Five percent of all first graders have noticeable speech impediments or disordered speech. The root causes for the majority of speech disorders have no known cause. In addition, only about half of all children between the ages of three and seventeen will be treated for their disorder.

Finding the Underlying Cause

While these statistics may be shocking to many, it is important to note that speech impediments or disordered speech have many forms and can be symptomatic of a number of conditions. What may appear to be a speech-related issue can be symptomatic of a language disorder, where the ability to access and process language is disrupted. It can also be the result of hearing loss, learning disorders, and developmental delays. All of these underlying causes can range in severity from mild, requiring only a few adjustments to the child’s life in order to correct, to severe to the point of requiring a lifetime of care.

Social Development

Regardless of the cause, a speech impediment or delay should be treated as early as possible. With the right therapies or, in some cases, surgeries, children can enter school with the ability to speak clearly and confidently. The ability to access language, to articulate yourself and be understood by others is essential for the socialization and healthy development of young children. Being unable to speak your mind can lead to self-esteem issues, behavioral issues, create difficulties socializing and sour the experience of school and learning for many children.

Give Your Child the Tools They Need

Luckily, impeded speech can often be corrected with a combination of speech therapies and, when necessary, medical interventions. Speech impediments caused by injured or malformed vocal cords, muscles or jaw may require surgery and speech therapy to correct. But they can be corrected. Speech impediments caused by neurological issues may never completely fade away, but they can be held in check with the help of speech therapy. Even if a speech impediment can’t be completely overcome, giving your child the tools to make their voices heard and understood is one of the greatest gifts anybody can ask for.

Preparing For the Future

Unfortunately, too many parents believe that their child will simply “grow out of it” and ignore speech impediments for years. This often leads to frustrations as children grow older and have greater difficulty interacting with the world. To give our children a healthy start in life its important that parents learn the signs of a speech impediment, communicate any concerns to your pediatrician, and follow up on any diagnosis early. Early intervention with options like NJ in-home speech therapy can help children be prepared to meet the world beyond the comfortable confines of your home.

If your child has a speech impediment, it’s important that you find them help as soon as possible. Even a minor disorder can either grow to something worse or be quickly corrected, depending on how you handle it at the beginning. When your child has the tools they need to handle their speech impediments, they will be much better suited to meet their social developmental goals and grow into independent adults.

Tim Esterdahl

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

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