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What Every Parent Needs to Know About Speech Therapy



Do people find it challenging to understand your child’s speech? If so, you’re not alone. Speech or language disorders exist in up to 8 percent of children in the early grades. In most cases, there is no identifiable cause. When it comes to speaking correctly, many children are just late bloomers.

What Is a Speech Disorder?

A speech disorder can fall into one of three primary groups. The most common, articulation disorder, has to do with how the child pronounces certain sounds. A typical example is sound substitution, as in “I wuv you.” A child with a fluency disorder, on the other hand, will display problems in the rhythm of speech. Finally, children with voice disorders may pronounce their words correctly in a perfect rhythm, but they might speak all on one note or pitch their voices inappropriately high or low.

What Is a Language Disorder?

A language disorder specifically involves difficulty with using or understanding the form, function, and content of the language itself. Sufferers have trouble comprehending the structure and meaning of words and are unable to combine them correctly into sentences. In the rarest cases, they are unable to speak at all.

How Can Speech Therapy Help?

The treatment of choice for any of these conditions will depend upon the age of the child and the severity of his impediment. A good speech therapist will help the student learn to articulate sounds and speak with a fluent rhythm at an appropriate pitch. In the case of a child with an actual language disorder, appropriate therapy can include assistance with vocabulary and coaching in conversational skills.

Where Can I Find a Speech Therapist for My Child?

Although many schools provide the services of an on-staff speech therapist, budget constraints and unwieldy class sizes can often limit the amount of time an individual child gets to spend with such a professional.

Thanks to modern technology, however, online speech therapy can now provide any child with real-time interaction directly through an Internet connection. Although often utilized as an adjunct to traditional occupational therapy, these long-distance therapy sessions are equally effective when used by themselves. Best of all, online speech therapy can work as well in the home as it does in a school setting, and most children find their online practice sessions to be highly enjoyable.

With good therapy, the vast majority of children can overcome their speaking difficulties in a reasonable amount of time without too much trouble. If they receive the right kind of therapy, they can have a lot of fun in the process.