Top 10 Reasons to Seek Speech and Language Therapy
The ability to effectively communicate with others affects all aspects of our daily lives. Children that struggle with any aspect of communication can feel frustrated, embarrassed, or isolated. When this occurs, it may be time to seek professional support for your child.
The top 10 reasons to seek speech and language therapy include:
1. Limited facial expression or use of gestures – Children who lack facial expression or do not use gestures appropriately may appear to be rude, or even naughty. For example: A child who says, “I’m sorry” with a big smile on their face may come across as being insincere. A child that yells, “HELLO!” across a crowded room, rather than waving, appears rude.
2. Difficulty being understood – Whether your child has trouble with saying just one sound or many, difficulties with correctly producing the sounds of English can lead to frustration, stuttering, and reading/writing struggles. As children are learning to speak, difficulty with certain sounds are expected. However, as they enter the preschool and school age years their speech should be clearly understood by most of their communication partners.
3. Limited vocabulary – Children who have difficulty coming up with the right word, or use an incorrect word, will struggle with communicating effectively both verbally and in writing. This may also affect their reading comprehension as they enter school.
4. Difficulty with grammar – Children that struggle to use complete sentences, use the wrong verb tense, or who do not use pronouns are experiencing deficits with grammar. For example: the child might say, “He runned fast” or “Me like doggy.”
5. Limited social communication – Children that struggle to use the social rules of language such as not interrupting, knowing what questions are okay to ask, staying on the topic, or responding appropriately to others comments are experiencing difficulties with social communication. An example may be: when the adult comments, “Wow, the sky is so blue today,” and the child responds, “I like to eat popcorn” or simply repeats the question back.
6. Difficulty understanding others expressions or gestures – Children that have difficulty reading other’s facial expressions or gestures are often confused and frustrated. They struggle with understanding how to respond, and often misinterpret what the other person was communicating. For example: A parent walks up to their child playing in the sandbox and says, “What are you doing?” while squinting into the sun. The child interprets the squinting to mean that the parent is mad at him, and he immediately jumps out of the sandbox and says, “Nothing, I’m sorry mommy.”
7. Difficulty following directions – Children who have difficulty following simple directions or need directions repeated over and over can appear to be lazy, rude, and non-compliant. Often times this difficulty is the result of a delay in processing verbal information and not a behavior issue.
8. Difficulty following a conversation or lecture – Children that have difficulty staying on topic, struggle to keep up with the material being presented or seem to tune-out are experiencing problems with processing language. Children with processing delays may say, “What?” or “I don’t know” frequently.
9. Difficulties with reading or writing – Children who struggle with learning to read, comprehending what they read, spelling, and writing may have underlying speech and language difficulties.
10. Behavior challenges – Children experiencing acting out or withdrawn behavior may have communication difficulties. When children lack the ability to express themselves in words, they will often resort to behavior. This can take the form of acting out, melting down, or withdrawing.
If your child is experiencing any of these difficulties, it may be time to seek speech and language therapy. Our speech and language therapy program at Horizons will provide a thorough evaluation and implement a state-of-the-art treatment plan to improve your child’s communication skills efficiently and effectively.
Contact our office at (616) 698-0306 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a no-cost initial consultation today!