Will Speech Therapy Help My Child Talk?
Facts on Speech Therapy for Kids
Speech therapy is a series of practices that aim to help children with impaired speech develop the confidence and skills needed to speak effectively.
A speech therapist, also known as a speech-language pathologist (SLP), is an educated, experienced professional that provides speech therapy services to individuals.
Even though speech therapy is perfectly suitable for adults, many parents end up investigating speech therapy as a method of helping their children talk. Children who are delayed in speech, have trouble socializing, or suffer from mental health issues, may all benefit from speech therapy.
Today, we’re going to go over the many ways that speech therapy can help a child improve their speaking skills. Not every child will gain all of the benefits, but they are an excellent example of what is possible with speech therapy.
Improve Speech Articulation
Children who have impaired speech typically have issues with articulation. Any child who has issues producing the appropriate speech sounds, either by omissions, additions, or substitutions, would likely benefit from speech therapy.
Learning to articulate words properly will quickly improve confidence in children as it will improve their communication skills. There are many ways that SLPs can help children improve their articulation. These techniques will help kids learn how to produce the correct sounds properly.
Reduce or Stop Stuttering
According to The Stuttering Foundation, approximately 70 million people worldwide stutter. Many of these people began as children and never received proper speech therapy.
Children who stutter often struggle to carry on conversations and speak fluently. An SLP is trained to help children improve their speaking skills to the point where stuttering may become non-existent.
There are several ways that an SLP will help children who stutter, such as:
- Taking deep breaths before a conversation, along with learning how to pace breathing during the conversation
- Speaking slowly
- Avoiding trigger words when possible
- Practicing trigger words when alone to boost fluency
- Using gestures to help remain calm
It will take time and effort for a child to overcome a stutter, but it is certainly possible. Even if it doesn’t disappear altogether, children can still learn how to live life with minimal stutter.
Boost Verbal Confidence
Children who experience impaired speech often suffer from lowered confidence levels due to becoming afraid of being mocked or otherwise ridiculed. This can create anxiety and other behavioral health problems.
Fortunately, a speech therapist can help decrease anxiety and improve confidence by overcoming any hurdles preventing the child from speaking fluently. Children will naturally gain confidence as their speech improves, allowing them to lead more fulfilling lives.
Speech therapy can also mean introducing aided communication devices, which can also improve confidence as it allows children to express themselves more thoroughly.
Build Social Skills
Communication is an essential aspect of socializing. Improving the ability to interact with others will intrinsically help improve social skills. There will be fewer misunderstandings between the child and their peers, allowing for conversations to flow between them and their peers.
Furthermore, children who specifically struggle with socializing can receive targeted therapy to help them develop social skills. Video modeling, therapy apps, social stories, role-playing, and other strategies are all used to help increase social skills.
What Does Speech Therapy Entail?
Speech therapy sessions will be different depending on the specific issues that the child must overcome. Some therapy sessions are individual, while others will be in a group setting.
Most speech therapy sessions will involve talking, playing, picture books, and repetition. Each of these is a different type of sound exercise. Sound exercises are a core aspect of speech therapy in which the SLP will go over each letter sound in any given word. The speech therapist will then show the child how to make the sound. This can often include demonstrating how to move the tongue when making sounds.
Sometimes, there is a physical aspect to speech therapy. This can include face massages, or instructing the child in jaw, lip, and tongue exercises to help them gain strength. If swallowing is a concern, which often accompanies speech disorders, then food will be safely introduced.
Does My Child Require Speech Therapy?
It can be difficult to determine if your child requires speech therapy. Children who have trouble developing a vocabulary, articulating words, producing correct sounds, or understanding social situations may all benefit from speech therapy.
If you are unsure if your child requires speech therapy and want to know more, we recommend you get in touch with a speech therapist.
Could My Child Benefit From an Online Speech Therapy Program?
Online speech therapy programs can make a significant difference in your child’s life.
Walkie Talkie Speech Therapy’s guided program was designed by licensed SLP Kayla Chalko and provides all the essential exercises required to get your child talking.
See why more than 1,200 families have enrolled in our “How to Teach a Toddler to Talk” speech therapy program to date.