Although more than 5 million children in the United States have a speech, language and hearing disorder, parents are often uninformed and unsure about what to do when they suspect their child might be delayed.
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Parents should seek early intervention for children with communication disorders
Speech and language delays or difficulties can occur at any time in a child’s life. They may be born with a disorder or it can be caused by accidental injury or illness. Child speech and language delays or difficulties include:
- Articulation problems (“wabbit” instead of “rabbit”)
- Language disorders such as the slow development of vocabulary, concepts, and grammar.
- Voice disorders (nasal, breathy, or hoarse voice and speech that is too high or low)
- Social communication disorders (difficulties communicating in social situations)
Parents who suspect their child has a communication disorder should see an ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist by visiting the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. These professionals identify, assess and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders.
“Fortunately, most children with speech, language, and hearing problems can be treated successfully,” according to Carrie Dishlip, CCC-SLP of STAR Center. “Even if the problem cannot be eliminated, we can teach the child strategies to help them cope with their communication disorders, or provide them with the appropriate technology to facilitate communication.”
- The Sensory Connection: An OT and SLP Team Approach
- What is the Difference Between Speech and Language?
- Early Intervention Speech Therapy: Why Does It Look Like Just Playing
- Childhood Apraxia of Speech Symptoms and Diagnosis
- Does Your Child Need Early Intervention?
For additional reading about communication speech disorders:
Language Disorders from Infancy through Adolescence: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing, and CommunicatingThe Parent’s Handbook to Speech Therapy: Theory, Strategies, and Interactive Exercises for Enhancing your Child’s Communication SkillsThe Teaching of Talking: Learn to Do Expert Speech Therapy at Home With Children and AdultsTalking with Your Toddler: 75 Fun Activities and Interactive Games that Teach Your Child to Talk
About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 166,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language and hearing scientists. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders.