Education Blog

How to Help a Kid With a Childhood Speech Impediment

September 20, 2021

Childhood Speech Impediment is scarring. A child with a speech impairment, whether stuttering or lisp; can find it difficult to understand how to participate in a conversation. Speech-language pathologists who practice speech therapy do not consider “speech impairment” to be an especially helpful term. Speech is a complex subject, It requires many skills. American Speech-Language Association prefers to use the terms speech delay or speech disorder. Both of which are quite common.

Melanie Potock, a pediatric speech therapist, a feeding specialist, and author of Adventures in Veggieland, says; that speech includes how we say or articulate the sounds in the words. She also describes the quality of our voice and how smooth or fluent our delivery.

As toddlers begin to make these sounds, dysfluencies in the language (such as repeating words or stuttering) may occur. Children who struggle to understand the beginning stages of stringing words into sentences; may develop sufficient articulation to become able to comprehend them later. They may have an articulation disorder or articulation delay if they don’t.

“Delay” refers to a delay in development. Potock explains that a stall in development can be minor or severe enough to cause concern. When children produce sounds, syllables, or words in atypical ways, they have an articulation disorder. This is when their test results show that they are producing them differently from other children their age; and of the same gender.

Child Speech Development & Childhood Speech Impediment

Every child is different and each child’s development will be at their own pace. However, it can be hard to spot dysfluencies that become problematic and are known as Childhood Speech Impediment. While there are many factors parents should look out for; Potock identified some common red flags that could indicate a serious problem.

Potock advises that parents should speak to their child’s doctor; if they have concerns about their child’s speech, language, or other signs. Early intervention (EI), services are available for children from birth through three years old in all 50 states. Evaluations and therapy are free if the child qualifies.

Speech therapy can be very entertaining for children if it is done by a certified speech-language pathologist. It also offers the opportunity for socialization. It’s important for parents to do some homework so they can teach their child good habits. However, it is similar to the games that parents play with their children, such as reading, sorting, and memory games. Other than that, they should opt for good parenting styles (permissive or authoritative) for better attention. Parents should not wait to find out if their child has difficulty with language and; then bring the matter up with their pediatrician.

Potock warns, “Don’t wait.” Potock warns that the more the gap grows, the longer the child will spend in therapy. Talk to your child’s doctor about your concerns. He/she can help you navigate the options.