Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Speech Therapy for Toddlers: Some Useful Facts

Is your child reluctant to speak and communicates only through gestures? Do you feel that he is not very expressive and beginning to withdraw into a shell? If you have even the vaguest suspicion that your child may have difficulty in expressing himself through words, you need to seek medical intervention.

The sooner a child is started on speech therapy, the better the chances of the child's communication skills and intellect developing rapidly. There is a growing body of evidence that there are a number of children who are just late doing stuff so there may not be a real concern unless the child is over ten months old when he should be able to mouth complete words and not just babble.

Experts believe that children whose parents spend quality time reading them stories, playing with them, and talking to them are the ones that will start to speak sooner and with a wider vocabulary. It is also believed that a child who is exposed to a lot of social interaction and whose conversations are taken seriously exhibits intellectual superiority over peers. If you suspect that your toddler may be having a speech disorder, you could try training your child to speak at home, which should normally set things straight.

Getting a toddler to do what you want them to do, is a very difficult proposition. Instead, try doing the things the toddler wants to do. Sit down with your child's toys and offer to play with him or her. Notice the toys that get preferential treatment and use those as an award. Keep some yummy treats handy, which you can give as soon as you get the correct response from your child.

Don't spend too much time trying to pull words out of your child's mouth. Remember that you may be able to hold the child's attention for a maximum of ten minutes so do not, at any cost, overstep that limit as that might make the child detest these 'speech' sessions. Always model the sound a word makes and bring the child's attention to it. If the child repeats the word correctly, offer the treat and make a big deal of his or her success.

If you are a new parent, remember it is never too early to start talking to your child. In fact, experts advise talking to the child and playing soothing music while it's still in the womb! The impact a parent has on a baby is immense so make the most of it and set aside time to talk to your child. Refrain from talking at your child and encourage every effort made by your child to communicate through words or gestures.

If your attempts at speech therapy are not very successful, your child may need a thorough medical check up by a pediatrician, an otolaryngologist, and an audiologist, to rule out other complications. Your child may also benefit with speech evaluation and therapeutic sessions with a professional speech pathologist.

Luchito Ruiz, a massage therapist by profession, loves writing on different topics. In this article, he writes about speech therapy for toddlers. If you would like to read more about dealing with speech disorders in children, visit Childrens Speech Therapist Melbourne and Speech Pathologist Melbourne.

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1 comment:

  1. Convenience is something to consider more than personality when looking for a therapist. Although you of course want a therapist who is at ease to talk to and friendly, you should also take into consideration how many patients he or she sees, because this will determine the amount of time available to be spent on you. Also look at the location from his or her office to your home and consider a therapist who is willing to meet your specific needs.

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