How Parents Can Provide At-Home Care for Their Child’s Speech Disorder
It is the parents’ duty to provide their children with guidance in the home setting in order to encourage a happy and healthy life. Childhood is defined by development. Helping your child with their speech disorder can be a journey full of progress and milestones. The speech pathologists at Villa Children’s Therapy are available to assess your child’s condition, but parents and family members of a child with a speech disorder can do even more to help them with speaking and expressing themselves. In order to know which practices you can implement in the home setting, it is important to understand how and why they are relevant. Let’s take a look at some helpful activities for parents to practice with their children.
Speak in a Passive and Fluid Voice
Have you ever had to ask someone to reiterate what they were saying because they may have spoken too fast for you to understand? This is how children with speech disorders may interpret your speech if you are not patient enough. It could be very helpful to wait a couple of seconds after your child speaks before you begin. It might be much more effective to allow room between statements as opposed to having your child try again or try talking slowly. This also allows for more comprehension.
Reduce the Number of Questions You Ask
If you want to ask your child a bunch of questions, it is advised that you break them up as opposed to asking them all at once. When you ask one question at a time, it makes it seem like the child has less to answer, thus making it easier on them. Additionally, children speak more freely if they are expressing their own ideas rather than constantly answering an adult’s questions. If you want to delete questions as much as possible, you can simply comment on what your child has said, thereby letting the child know that you have acknowledged what has been said.
Read Books Together
Many parents have taken up reading with their children before they start school. From the ages of 3 to 4, children can commence phonological activities and an awareness of the sound of their language. This is a prime time in their lives to begin reading to impede a speech disorder or problems. It is advised that, when you do read with your child, you take a couple of breaks every couple of minutes as their attention spans are shorter.
Reading some of the same stories on a regular basis can help in the fact that repetition helps children to recognize sounds and words. Books that rhyme are optimal pieces of text. Rhyming helps with rhythm, thus leading to the improved pronunciation of words. Lastly, it is encouraged that parents ask their child questions about the story. Asking them questions about the books you read together improves their comprehension and critical thinking skills.
Use a Variety of Words
When you use a variety of words to describe objects, you help trigger the learning mechanisms of your child. Learning mechanisms play a major role in the early stages of speech development and the acquisition of language, which includes mastering the sound system and grammar of their language. For example, naming colors in both your primary language along with a second language can help your child practice and exercise their speech abilities whether they are at home or in school.
Encourage Singing and Humming
If your child has a condition that makes it difficult for them to speak, you may want to consider encouraging your child to sing. Singing not only helps to open the throat, but it also induces us to listen to the pitch and rhythm of sounds we are producing. This can help make children more attentive to their speech and voice modulation patterns. Furthermore, singing can also be therapeutic and build confidence when your child is trying to speak. Expressing oneself is not equally easy for everyone, therefore, this can give your child the boost they need when speaking.
Use Body Communication with Verbal Communication
Body language may be a non-verbal form of communication, but it plays an integral part in speech as it is a fraction of the message a speaker is trying to emit. It can be extremely helpful for parents to practice strong, positive, and cohesive body language when speaking to their children to show them that there are several ways of successfully communicating thoughts and ideas. Overall, challenges with speech can be improved in a verbal, nonverbal, and socially expressive way where body language prevails.
Villa Children’s Therapy: Here to Accompany Your Child’s Progress!
At Villa Children’s Therapy, we care about the progress each child makes, whether it is here in our clinic or in the homes of parents! We are all about dedicating ourselves to you and your child’s condition. Contact us today to learn more about how you can further support your child with our services and staff.