Speech therapist: do we need it?

January 4, 2024

In this article, we discuss the speech therapist, a very important figure in the language development of children and adults: the speech therapist.

Speech therapists do not only intervene when there are serious problems and delays, but they can also help in delicate situations before they turn into something more difficult.

The various problems that can affect children in language are divided into expression language with simple delay and receptive language disorders. We will see when and why in some situations it is important to contact a speech therapist for children.

Speech therapist and child who does not speak

A parent often tends to be concerned about the health of his or her child from the earliest moments of life and is particularly interested in her independence even from the communicative point of view.

After all, the child’s future learning and self-esteem will depend almost entirely on language.
To date, to make up for the various shortcomings due to the acquisition of speech, speech therapy comes to the rescue, which is a fascinating science that sometimes risks being underestimated. Thanks to it, it is possible to improve the quality of communication as well as life in general.

Who is the speech therapist?

The speech therapist’s task is basically to intervene at different stages of language learning, trying to find an approach with the child.
We speak of language delay when a series of specific difficulties arise that end up impairing the child’s language ability for some time.
While this issue is very common, it may in some cases be only a transitory phase that will be resolved within a short time.

By understanding all the developmental stages of language, it helps to understand the possible warning signs due to delayed speech development.

Early signs we shouldn’t ignore.

Some early signs may be: insufficient gestures in communication, problems with speech comprehension, difficulty speaking and knowledge of a few words (around 15 words).

In case these indicators are encountered, it is possible to think that there is a language delay.
Intervening promptly with speech therapy and its exercises may prove to be the ideal solution to prevent problems from worsening and becoming pathological.

As a general rule, it is necessary to consult the speech therapist children in all those cases in which the child has not begun to speak despite being two years old, does not understand orders and words even if they are quite simple, is unable to express himself clearly, uses only two syllables to speak, and cannot pronounce some letters.

At the same time, the little one may stutter, not swallow properly, or not concentrate.

Simple delay

A separate discussion deserves what is more commonly called simple delay. This expression refers to a problem that is rather harmless but should not be underestimated.

The issue is called simple delay because it is not considered a pathology since it is only a delay produced by learning sounds.
At the time these disorders occur, the child pronounces certain phonemes with difficulty.

In making this analysis, it is important to remember that the first sounds and words are necessarily fragmented and fluctuating and are not necessarily a symptom of delay.

With a little effort, your child can speak (or return to speaking) within a few months and avoid going through more complicated drills.
If you notice some of these signs in your child, consider hearing from a speech therapist.

Pathway with speech therapy for children

Through the work of the speech therapist, it will be possible to have an optimal evaluation while also receiving advice on steps to take. Always the doctor will give precise directions according to the therapy to be paid attention to, specifying how many days within the week it is necessary to follow his recommendations.

The therapy that is proposed by the speech therapist at the time when the child is found to be stuttering is mainly concentrated in the so-called speech games. The latter are nothing but real fun exercises whose main purpose is to make the child actively participate. Indeed, by stimulating his attention and properly motivating him, the little one will begin to cooperate.

The games in question can vary depending on the child’s condition and the presence or absence of a pathological situation.
Examples can be real breathing exercises, games with tiles and constructions, picture books, and games with figurines.

Regarding breathing exercises, it should be pointed out that they are essential to find the correct way to inhale and exhale.

Instead, this seemingly trivial activity turns out to be essential for speaking, as well as the articulation of syllables at the muscular level.
At the same time, tile games such as find-the-differences or memory help stimulate attention, memory, and language.

Construction games and reading

A separate discussion deserves construction games. The latter are complicated and complete amusements in many ways and can stimulate the child’s entire cognitive sphere.
Language delay can be cured with the support of picture books. Through reading, children can learn new words and formulate new sentences correctly.

Stutterers are also able to improve their language by playing with figures such as pre-set or drawn speech cards. It is important to touch all of the child’s attention points so that his or her cognitive sphere is active during the recovery process.

The goal of these therapies is basically to get the child to start pronouncing meaningful sentences within a few months, remembering, however, that each one has its own timeframe that absolutely must be respected.

We are on your side.

Parentalife is on your side along the path of parenting. We’ll help you with our courses and with personalized consultations, so you won’t ever feel lonely in this difficult part of life with kids.

SOURCES

InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. What is speech therapy? 2020 Aug 12. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK561506/