Kids will soon be back in school, and that means homework, class projects and tests. As the school year gains momentum, some parents may begin to notice their child is lagging a bit behind developmentally in terms of their speech, language comprehension, and overall communication. As a speech therapist in Brecksville can explain, every child develops at a different pace. That said, you don’t want to wait too long to address a speech-language delay or problem. Early intervention can help your child catch up to where they need to be, so they don’t lose too much ground academically.
Many kids who receive our speech therapy services start before they are school-age. That’s because their speech-language delays were evident before they turned 4 or 5. However, sometimes there are issues that don’t become evident until a child becomes a bit older.
Some examples of struggles with which a speech therapist may be able to help:
- Stuttering. This occurs when speech flow is interrupted by unintended repetitions, pauses, words or phrases. Speech therapy helps your child learn to limit speech interruptions and boost their confidence. A pediatric speech therapist can also help your child learn to control patterns of speech by monitoring their speech rate and breath support.
- Dyslexia/delayed phonological awareness. Phonological awareness refers to a broad set of skills kids typically develop in preschool as they are being prepared to learn how to read and write. It’s the ability to focus on and manipulate individual sounds in spoken words, and it’s one of the most accurate predictors of how well a child will learn to read in their first few years of school. Kids at risk of reading difficulty struggle with phonological awareness, but there are a number of ways a speech therapist can help. A child who struggles with phonological awareness might have dyslexia. This is when a child struggles with reversing words and letters, decoding, and spelling. The problem is often the phonological language component. An experienced pediatric speech therapist can help identify the issue and also help treat it
- Reading comprehension problems. Reading comprehension refers to one’s ability to successfully process words, understand their meaning, and integrate them with existing knowledge. Speech therapy can help your child improve their ability to comprehend what they are grappling with things like understanding the meaning of words, connecting ideas in a passage, glossing over or omitting details or difficulty concentrating while reading. A speech therapist can work with your child to help them improve these skills. Not only do we want to help them with reading comprehension (an important life skill), we want to see them actually like reading!
- Inaccurate use of vocabulary. Let’s face it: English is a confusing language. But some kids have a harder time grasping it than others. For instance, if a kid uses the words “on” and “in” interchangeably or in place of the word, “under,” they might be struggling with accurate vocabulary. As longtime pediatric speech therapists in Brecksville, we work with them to help them understand the correct way to use these words and improve their confidence/reading abilities.
- Difficulty with reading fluency. As a Brecksville speech therapist can explain, fluency refers to one’s ability to read with speed, accuracy, and expression. If you or your child’s teacher notices he/she needs more time to complete reading assignments than other kids or that they read each word by itself instead of grouping them together to form phrases with meaning (past the age when they should be more fluent in their reading), speech therapy could be an excellent resource.
Even if you don’t have major concerns, the start of the school year is a good time to revisit the American Speech Hearing Association’s speech-language development chart to make sure your child is on-pace for their age group.
Therapy & Wellness Connection – your connection to a life without limitations – provides speech therapy to children in Akron, Cleveland, Brecksville-Broadview Heights and surrounding communities. We also offer summer camp, day programs, education services, vocational counseling and more. Call us at (330) 748-4807 or send us an email.
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Akron Speech Therapists Use Sign Language For Kids With Communication Difficulties, June 9, 2021, Brecksville Speech Therapist Blog
For parents, one of the greatest thrills is hearing your child say, “mama” or “dada” for the first time. It can be even more exciting to start communicating with your child, especially when they begin speaking with that adorable “baby talk.” But… What if they aren’t talking? Or what if they aren’t saying the words right? What if they don’t appear to understand what you’re saying? How do you know you should begin exploring speech therapy?
The first thing our Brecksville speech therapy team explains to concerned parents is that every child develops at a different pace. There are certain verbal development milestones that pediatricians outline by age, but it’s not cause for panic if your child doesn’t hit it on the mark. That said, “wait-and-see” is generally inadvisable. If there is a delay or disability, the longer you wait to take action, the more difficult it’s going to be for your child to catch up to their peers.
Few children make zero errors when they’re learning to talk. But if you suspect your child may have a speech delay or speech-language disorder, having a speech therapy evaluation is the first step toward determining if treatment would be beneficial.