A Parent’s Guide to Speech Therapy for Differently-Abled Children

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A Parent’s Guide to Speech Therapy for Differently-Abled Children
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Being a parent is undoubtedly one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Being the parent of a child is highly rewarding yet also one of the greatest challenges, and mothers and fathers like you do everything in their power to provide the best for their children.

A differently-abled child with speech issues, however, needs your love, care, and much more. He/she needs specialized speech therapy, by a team of professionals that understand his needs, and know how to help him/her connect to the world.

A special therapy plan put together by trained professionals will make a huge difference in your child’s life and yours. Be it a language disorder, learning disorder, autism, articulation disorder, phonological disorder or stuttering, the solution remains the same.

Here at Life Speech, we have put together the ultimate parent’s guide to speech therapy for you to effectively understand your child’s needs.

Take a look below:

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Here is a detailed version for your reference:

Why is it Important for your Child to develop Language Skills?

Your child cannot communicate like you, and while this does not make him/her less valuable, the importance of communication skills is reflected in many aspects of everyday life. Depending on what type of condition your child has, he/she might be able to express ideas, feelings and needs, or might need assistance from you to do so. Either way, his/her needs will increase and existing communication tools will become ineffective.

language

The society, in general, does not know how to deal or approach people with unique needs. For this reason, your child might experience rejection, discrimination or bullying for being unable to express efficiently. Even more, they might face difficulties in stabilizing relations with other children, and later on with other members of the community.

The ability to communicate is also necessary to be a functional adult. Your child needs to be able to express himself in order to get proper education, a job and/or handle responsibilities. Apart from the way your child will interlink with the society around, not being able to communicate effectively will also lead to a decrease in self-confidence and self-esteem.

Children with the following conditions can benefit from speech therapy designed for children:

  • Autism
  • Dysarthria
  • Dyspraxia/Apraxia
  • Articulation Disorders
  • Phonological Disorders
  • Stuttering
  • Feeding Disorders
  • Dyslexia
  • Reading and Writing Disorders

What are your Child’s Main Needs?

Children's need

There are many types of therapies that can have a positive effect on your child, depending on a number of factors. The severity of your child’s condition, age, personality, and other factors matter when choosing a type of therapy and a course of action.

Before anything else, your child needs to be assessed by professionals, in order to better understand his/her needs. A personalized therapy plan is necessary, as every child is different and you need to find the best approach for each case.

Professional and family support are both incredibly important; you will have to carefully notice the progress of your child and inform the therapist of anything that can affect the course of the therapy.

Where do you go for Help?

It is vital to seek specialized help for your child, and not settle for self-treatment at home. Professional speech therapists can help screen and assess a range of abilities concerning speech, language, feeding, literacy, voice, and social skills. Your child will be assessed by an entire team, each one responsible for a different part of therapy that your child will undergo.

The child’s medical and social history is also taken into consideration, along with any other applicable information – which helps customize a treatment plan for his/her specific needs.

Communication skills are required when it comes to expressing thoughts, developing self-confidence and building relationships. The importance of language, communication, and social skills shouldn’t be underestimated as they are vital for your child’s well-being and development.

Next Step: Intervention & Training

Intervention & Speech Training

Once the specialists have evaluated and diagnosed your child’s condition, a personalized speech treatment plan is created, after which he/she will start attending therapy classes. Intervention includes timely treatment for problems related to speech, language, hearing, feeding, dyslexia, and autism spectrum disorders.

Treatment can vary from child to child, depending on the diagnosis and the communication issues faced.

It is important to understand how to help your child and the methods to use, both at home and in the community, to help improve social and language skills. If you want to get involved as a caregiver, you can also opt for speech/educational therapy product training, or a short workshop, or certificate course.

 

What Results you can Achieve?

Here are a few real-life success stories to support our points:

An 8-year old boy with articulation issues affecting his school work and social interactions was referred to a speech therapist. The therapist in question discovered (through thorough testing) that the young boy faced articulation issues coupled with significant auditory processing delays. This was the primary cause affecting his reading and writing skills.

After 1.5 years of therapy, his articulation issues resolved, and the boy moved to a different educational center. Today, he is a college-educated, successful businessman.

Another successful case of speech therapy is of a 6-year old boy with speech apraxia. He used to be in ‘special needs’ kindergarten, but his parents got him admitted into regular class, alongside speech therapy sessions. That was when he finally learnt how to talk, and went on to make immense progress in just one year.

Today, he is a happy, sociable 10-year old, at or above grade level in all subjects.

Speech therapy can greatly benefit your child and pave the way for a brighter future. Of course, every case is different and your child needs a personalized plan to help achieve the best results.

Conclusion

Educational therapy will enable your child to:

  • Express needs, ideas and desires
  • Communicate effectively with the ones around him
  • Understand the rules of effective communication and apply them
  • Differentiate between types of conversations
  • Be able to sustain both social and personal conversations

Make everyday living easier for your child by encouraging him/her to express openly, regardless of how advanced the speech disorder is. A vocal or a simple sound is the beginning of a successful dialogue with you and the rest of the world. Work on learning a simple word or sound every week, and soon enough your child’s progress will be obvious.

Starting the therapy as early as possible is vital for success, so select a personalized therapy plan for your child today, and help him/her communicate their desires to the world!

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