Communication skills are especially important in the development of children. Kids with communication issues need as much help as you can give them to grow to live happy lives.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to foster better communication skills in children with disorders.
What Kinds of Speech and Language Disorders Affect Children?
There are a host of speech and language disorders children can suffer from. The severity and implications on the child’s life vary greatly depending on the disorder.
Up to 75% of children that suffer from stuttering will outgrow it. Although the cause of the disorder is mostly unknown, a speech therapist can help a child overcome their stammer.
A lisp is a difficulty in producing a specific sound that ends up affecting speech.
Apraxia of Speech
Apraxia of speech is when the brain-speech neural connection is somehow lost or interrupted. This results in the child not being able to communicate its thoughts through speech.
Dysarthria is muscle or nerve damage that manifests as slurred or slowed speech. It can affect the tongue or jaw movement and cause labored speech.
Spasmodic dysphonia is a disorder that affects a child’s voice. A spasming of the vocal cords results in broken, shaky speech.
Muteness has a range of manifestations, including what is known as selective muteness. This is when a child is capable of speech but chooses to remain silent. Psychological reasons cause the child to refrain from communicating as a means of isolation from the world.
Cluttering describes speech that is too fast or jerky. It involves the excessive use of “um,” “like” and other syllables or words to help get the person through their sentences.
Despite not being a speech disorder, autism can present communication issues in children. A speech pathologist, along with a team of medical professionals, can make a diagnosis as to the degree of any underlying communication disorder.
Alalia refers to speech delay that occurs in children that may be late bloomers. However, brain damage is also a potential underlying cause of alalia, a fact that requires proper diagnosis of the condition by a professional.
What Are Signs That a Communication Disorder Is Affecting School Performance?
Spending time with a child can help you spot some of the signs that a communication disorder is affecting a child. If a child is suffering from such a disorder, their academic performance will usually reflect it. Poor grades and difficulty with tests and reading are the most evident signs.
5 Ways to Help Children Overcome Communication Disorders
The goal of a caring adult is to help a child with a communication disorder reach a higher level of interaction. Here are some practical ways to achieve this goal.
1. Share Your Daily Experiences
Taking the time to share your daily experiences is a great way for a child to practice communication skills in a low-pressure environment.
2. Read Books With Them
Reading with children will help a lot more than having them attempt to read on their own. When you are sharing the experience with them, kids are more likely to make an effort to name objects and learn new words.
3. Help Them Build Their Vocabulary
Adding words to their vocabulary will help children strengthen their brain’s neural connections. You can play fun games that take the pressure off and make it a stress-free exercise.
4. Use Song as Therapy
The therapeutic properties of music are not limited to the act of listening. Children that have a difficult time speaking may find that singing helps them communicate more.
5. Practice Sign Language
Sign language is a helpful tool for deaf children but may also provide solutions to kids that are dealing with other communication issues.
Being Proactive With Overcoming a Communication Disorder
Communication disorders are not uncommon and taking a proactive approach can help children drastically improve their lives. Parents, teachers, and other adults in the child’s environment can also help by taking the initiative to learn more about helping kids overcome communication problems. You can also consider visiting places like SpeechPathologyGraduatePrograms.org for more information.