As our children develop we observe how they interact with their peers. We notice if their speech is as intelligible as their friends and we may notice if their sentence structure and vocabulary seems to be on target with others of the same age. We may not be as aware of how they are comprehending or processing language since these are internal actions.
If you have any concerns about speech or language development, it is important to check it out with your pediatrician or a licensed speech-language pathologist. For speech therapy, Richardson, Texas families can contact Speech & Occupational Therapy of North Texas to learn more about the evaluation and treatment process.
According to the NIH (National Institute of Health), 5% of children have symptoms of a language disorder. A child may have a language disorder when they have difficulty understanding what is heard or difficulty expressing themselves through words. 8% to 9% of young children have a speech sound disorder with this percent dropping to approximately 5% with noticeable speech disorders by first grade (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001545.htm). A speech sound disorder typically refers to difficulty with producing sounds correctly whether in isolation or in words and phrases. Additionally, children may experience other communication disorders, such as cognitive-communication disorders (difficulty with thinking skills such as memory, intellect, reasoning), Stuttering or fluency disorders (interruption in the flow of speech), and voice disorders (quality and volume of voice).
According to ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) speech and language skills are critical for academic success. Almost ever skill we use in life is related in some way to language and speech abilities. We use these skills for reading, writing, listening, speaking and interactions.
There are many experiences that are important for our children and we live in a culture that emphasizes child involvement in all kinds of activities such as soccer, dance, martial arts, and art. We need to remember that proficiency in speech and language is more critical for current and future success with interactions, learning and academics. We need to make treatment a priority and fit therapy into our children’s schedules if they have a speech or language disorder. We sometimes hope that our children will outgrow speech and language disorders. Unfortunately a child does not typically outgrow a diagnosed disorder without intervention.
A licensed speech-language pathologist with pediatric experience is qualified to determine if your child has a speech or language disorder. If your child does have a disorder, a specific treatment plan with measureable goals is developed based on the assessment. The speech-pathologist will work with your child and also assist you in carryover activities for home. Family participation is important for the treatment process. Research shows that family involvement significantly impacts positive outcomes for therapy. For speech therapy, Richardson, Texas families may visit www.speechandot.com. The website offers a wealth of information about speech, language and motor development. Speech & Occupational Therapy of North Texas has a clinic located near Richardson.