Speech Development Disorder in Children

Language disability in young kids is a condition that has baffled many specialists, since it has no known neurological cause. This condition affects the learning capabilities of the child as well as their social interactivity. A child who develops language skills slower than his/her peers usually feels out of place when in their company. This may sometimes lead to selective mutism by the child out of a growing fear of being ridiculed by his/her peers. It is important for you to look for early intervention if you feel that your child is suffering from this condition.

You should be aware of the signs that indicate that your child is suffering from speech disorder. Such signs include:

  • Problems with phonology –  Your child may exhibit problems pronouncing the sounds of your language.
  • Problems with syntax –  Your child may be having problems putting words together to form phrases and sentences.
  • Problems with semantics and pragmatics – Your child may be having problems in learning words and knowing how to put them into context when speaking.
  • Problems with prosody and intonation – Your child may be having problems maintaining the flow of your language.

 

The first step that you need to take is to have the child examined by a doctor who will diagnose the type of language problems that your child is experiencing. Primary language impairment in children is not associated with hearing issues, autism, emotional problems, developmental delays and other similar conditions. Secondary language disability in young children is directly associated with these conditions.

Depending on the type of verbal communication impairment that your child experiences, the doctor will be able to recommend the type of speech therapy that your child should undergo.

In cases of primary speech impairment children should receive physical strengthening treatment, audio therapy coupled with visual aids to help the child associate words correctly and repetitive therapy which involves the repetition of words, phrases and sentences and other forms of instruction that strengthen the confidence of the child when speaking.

In cases of secondary speech disorder in young kids, the doctor may advise you to take the child to special schools where he/she can be among others with a similar affliction and not feel out of place. The teachers at such schools specialize in coaching children with these specific problems, for example children with autism or aspergers syndrome.

In all cases of language difficulties in young children, it is important that the therapy improves the cognitive capabilities of the child. This can be through the use of signs and symbols, pictures and audio, and also therapy that will bolster the self confidence of the child.

If your child exhibits signs of communication impairment, do not despair. It may be a simple issue of having nobody to talk to especially if you and your spouse are working and leaving the child with a nanny who may not speak to the child consistently. If there is a serious underlying cause, then there are many therapeutic solutions that you can seek to help your child overcome or live comfortably with this condition.

This ia a guest post contributed by Haliyma who is a freelance journalist from New York. Haliyma regularly contributes features on child education including homeschooling and bilingual education.

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