Delayed Speech and Language
Speech and language is an essential part of any child’s development. Language development impacts your child’s social interactions, behavior and academic skills.If your child is not talking as much as most of the other children of his age are, she could be having a delay. You could consult us for this and We shall be assessing the following and then recommending if speech language therapy is required or not
- what your child understands (called receptive language)
- what your child can say (called expressive language)
- if your child is attempting to communicate in other ways, such as pointing, head shaking, gesturing, etc.
- sound development and clarity of speech
- your child's oral-motor status (how the mouth, tongue, palate, etc., work together for speech as well as eating)
How can you support your child’s speech and language development?
- Start talking to your child at birth. Even newborns benefit from hearing speech.
- Talk to your child a lot. Tell them what you are doing as you do it.
- Read books aloud. If your baby loses interest in the text, just talk about the pictures.
- Sing to your child and provide them with music. Learning new songs helps your child learn new words, and uses memory skills, listening skills, and expression of ideas with words.
- Don’t try to force your child to speak.
- Expand on what your child says. (For example, if your child says, “water,” you can say, “You want water!”)
- Describe for your child what they are doing, feeling and hearing in the course of the day.
- Encourage storytelling and sharing information.
- Play with your child one-on-one, and talk about the toys and games you are playing.
- Ask your child lots of questions.
- Don’t criticize grammar mistakes. Instead, just model good grammar.
- Have your child play with kids whose language is a little better than theirs.
Articulation (pronunciation and talking) is the ability to physically move the tongue, lips, teeth and jaw to produce sequences of speech sounds, which make up words and sentences. Articulation is important to be able to produce sounds, words and sentences which are clear and can be easily understood and interpreted by others in order to be able to express basic needs and wants, right through to being able to engage in complex conversations.
Depending on the extent of the difficulties, unclear speech can impact significantly on how well a child can interact with adults and their peers and can affect the development of language and social skills. A child who is having difficulties being understood can become frustrated and angry which may lead to behavioural issues. Articulation is also important in literacy skills such as reading and spelling out of words.
We shall be assessing the following to see if your child has an articulation problem and requires help
- case history
- oral mechanism examination
- hearing screening(if required)
- speech sound/Single word assessment), including severity,intelligibility,stimulability,
- spoken-language testing, including receptive and expressive language assessment,
- phonological processing
How can you improve your child’s articulation?
- Model correct speech
- Avoid directly correcting your child when she makes a mistake
- Maintain a regular flow of conversation around your child.
- Turn off background noise in the home (e.g. television, radio, music) when engaging with your child to minimise distractions.
- Read to the child
For the young child, engage in play where you model and use lots of different sounds while playing (e.g. saying “chchch” as the train passes by, “baa” goes the sheep).
Fluency refers to the smoothness or flow with which sounds, syllables, words and phrases are said when talking. When a child is not speaking fluently terms like stuttering, stammering or cluttering are often used. A child’s speech may also be dysfluent (lacking fluency) when they are trying to ‘think of what to say’ and are planning the words and sequence of words that they are going to use.
Speaking fluently is important when relaying information and socialising. The more dysfluent speech is the more difficult is it for the speaker and the listener to engage in the conversation effectively and easily. It is important for a child to have fluent speech so that they are able to get their needs and wants met and to be able to effectively express their thoughts and ideas. It can be frustrating for the child who is not fluent when they cannot get their messages across.
We do a comprehensive and individualized assessment by following steps and design the therapy program accordingly:
- Detailed Case History
- Consultation with family members
- Real time analysis of speech sample
- assessment of speech fluency (e.g., frequency, type, and duration of disfluencies; presence of secondary behaviors; speech rate; and intelligibility) in a variety of speaking tasks (e.g., conversational and narrative contexts)
How can you help to improve your child’s fluency
- Speak slowly and calmly to your child
- Avoid interrupting or criticizing the child
- If your child gets stuck somewhere, don’t complete the utterance for her.Let her do it herself
- make the family environment as relaxed as possible
- Maintain good eye contact with your child while talking.
Voice disorders are medical conditions involving abnormal pitch, loudness or quality of the sound produced by the voice box or the larynx and thereby affecting speech production. Professional voice users such as teachers, lawyers, singers ,etc are more likely to have voice disorders.
Voice therapy is like physical therapy for your voice. Just like athletes work with trainers and physical therapists after an injury, people with vocal issues benefit from working with a speech pathologist.
There are different disorders which can affect the voice.Hence a detailed assessment is done and it generally involves the following:
- Detailed Case history
- Life style assessment
- Information on usage of voice personally and professionally
- Oral motor examination
- Computerized assessment(if required)
How can you improve your Voice?
- Don’t abuse or misuse your voice
- Drink lots of water
- Don’t yell or scream
- Don’t overlook any voice related issues
- Consult your Speech therapist at the earliest.