We all want our children to be great at everything they try, but the reality is we all develop at different rates and have skills or success in our own ways. One of the developmental areas that parents worry most about is their child’s speech. We all know how important it is to be able to communicate your needs, thoughts, and feelings in order to develop relationships, have friends and jobs, and navigate the world as an adult. When young children have delayed speech, it’s easy for us to worry about the future, but we urge parents to remain calm and take their child’s development one day at a time.
Two issues arise with children whose speech is delayed. One is a language problem, and the other is a speaking problem. There is a big difference between children who struggle to understand and process language and those who struggle to form words with their mouths. A good speech therapist can help you determine your child’s speech development issue so it can be treated appropriately.
So the question is, besides working with a professional, what can parents and caregivers do to help their children speak? Here are a few simple things you can do at home to support your child’s speech development.
Have Patience With The Process
One of the most valuable things you can do to support your child’s speech and language development is to have patience. No child learned to speak because their parent badgered them. The sheer pressure of that could be overwhelming. As you work to determine the best tools to help your child’s speech, be patient with them and yourself. All good things take time, and with the proper assistance, your child can develop in a way that is appropriate for them.
Practice At Home
Your child is likely getting support in school or with a speech therapist, but they may also benefit from practice at home. We all learn language by picking it up from the people around us. Speak to your child regularly and use a wide range of vocabulary to expose them to as much language as possible. Give them time to consider and respond to your questions and prompts, and celebrate their successes. You may also choose to invest in flashcards or language development games. A speech therapist can help you determine the ideal resource for your child.
Read Together Often
Children learn so much from exposure to language. Help them learn language and develop a love for books by reading to them as much as possible. Reading together is fun and does not have to cost a dime. Visit your local library for a huge assortment of books and exchange them each week as your child’s needs evolve.
Seek Professional Support
Finally, we believe strongly in professional support for children whose speech development is behind the curve for their age. Our trained therapists can give you a plan and the resources to help them grow their language skills. You’ll be amazed at how command over language will give your child confidence, help them develop relationships, and enable them to communicate their needs more effectively.
Our speech therapists are here to support children and families just like yours. They’re highly trained, patient, and compassionate. You work hard to support your children’s developmental needs. Let us join your team and give your family the tools you need to support your child’s speech development. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact our office. We’d love to help your child find their voice.