Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

If your child has pronunciation difficulties, see a specialist as soon as possible. The earlier the therapy is started, the better its effects will be.

A modern speech therapist teaches not only correct pronunciation, but also proper communication. Works with the patient on phonetic and grammatical correctness, logical building of utterances and general communication skills.

The sooner the better

Speech defects in two- or three-year-olds correct quite quickly. A six-year-old requires much more time. A school-age child who goes to a speech therapist usually requires additional re-education, because speech defects are so permanent that they affect his intellectual development, functioning at school and in a group of peers.

First signals

The fact that something is "wrong" should be first noticed by the parent. Speech defects appear in a two-year-old child. An example is the interdental pronunciation of some sounds, where the child puts his tongue between his teeth (the defect is not only audible, but also visible). Delayed speech development should also be disturbing and should always be consulted with a specialist. The most common symptoms in young children are the pronunciation of sounds considered the most difficult in Polish: "sz", "ż", "cz", "dż" and "r". Their articulation ability is formed around the age of 5, but a faulty pronunciation can be picked up earlier, before it becomes permanent. A three-year-old should be monitored for speech development, both at home, by parents and in kindergarten, and it is better to consult a speech therapist about any disturbing signals.

Where is the reason

A harbinger of problems may be an abnormal anatomy of the speech apparatus, which should be picked up by a doctor already in an infant. The tests consist in checking the structure of the oral cavity and preliminary diagnosis of reflexes essential for speaking (e.g. sucking reflex). Sometimes in young children there is an overgrowth of the frenulum (tendons between the tongue and the lower palate). Such a defect in the later period almost always causes a speech impediment. In such a situation, it is better to decide on a surgical correction than to wait until the child is older - unless the frenulum hypertrophy is small, then the speech therapist may only recommend exercises (e.g. specific gymnastics or a type of passive massage). The cause of a speech defect may also be damage to the organ of hearing, abnormalities withinmandible, neurological diseases, hereditary factors, and finally lower intellectual abilities. Speech therapy should therefore be comprehensive and rely on the cooperation of appropriate specialists (e.g. ENT specialist, otolaryngologist, orthodontist, neurologist or psychologist).

According to an expertBased on materials from the website

I am opposed to methods that are based only on sitting with a child in front of a mirror and repeating sounds.
Proper therapy also touches on other development spheres. I am working on making my patient better catch the differences between sounds. Depending on the child, I also use appropriate methods, e.g. the Dennison kinesthesia method, i.e. supporting movement and stimulation of various points on the body. For example, drawing horizontal eights is a good exercise. It can also be movement with musical elements.
The idea is to stimulate the flow of signals between the hemispheres of the brain and increase the ability to concentrate attention. I try to choose such exercises that the classes are not boring and that the child wants to work at home with the guardian. I also appeal to parents to have time for their children.
Remember that untreated speech defects have a negative impact on the quality of life of an adult, which, unfortunately, I observe in my office.

Time matters

Why is it so important to start therapy early? Because untreated speech defects persist, often with serious developmental consequences. Currently, many adults come to speech therapists who, due to incorrect pronunciation, have problems with communication at various levels, affecting their personal life and professional career. Inability to communicate content is a serious barrier in interpersonal contacts. And working with adults, say speech therapists, is much more difficult than with children, because bad habits are hard to get rid of. Before a child grows up, there are many problems at school for them. The pronunciation disorders translate, first of all, into spelling errors, especially in hearing. Then, speech hearing exercises are one of the most important elements of therapy. Worse, when a child has a hearing impairment or auditory perception disorders, more effort is required to correct errors. Time is also of great importance here. If a child does not receive help in time, he or she may have lower achievements at school than their peers, which also entails emotional problems. Further disorders may appear. For example, it is known that most children diagnosed with dyslexia have had problems with speech before. This means that all children with speech disorders are at risk of dyslexia - but this is not always the case. Statistics also show that children,who start talking early are more intellectually capable than their reticent peers. Although this is not always the case. There are very talented children with disabilities - usually, however, they are speech and not speech defects. One thing is certain: the development of speech stimulates mental development, and the development of thinking is reflected in speech.

Movement is important

Speech is a mental activity, but very much related to our internal rhythm and activity. Therefore, when working on it, supporting methods such as rhythmics or various movement games (preferably combined with sound) are important. Dance develops auditory-visual-motor coordination between the hemispheres of the brain. This has a huge impact on intellectual development. The child hears the rhythm first, then begins to move, and at the same time watches the teacher's movements. Movement, vision and hearing exercises also stimulate the development of speech and significantly reduce the risk of dyslexia in school age (dyslexia is related to the lack of coordination between these spheres). If the auditory perception is good, the child will not make pronunciation and spelling mistakes that the child can recognize by hearing.

Speech is a movement act

The sound is initiated in the larynx, then processed by the tongue, cheeks, lips and bones of the skull (constituting the resonator). A child with less mobility is also often less articulated. If the high motor skills are well developed, the same will be true of small motor skills, which is the condition for correct speaking. In addition, the child is not very mobile and less willing to explore the environment, learns less, and thus is less developed.

Worth knowing

Spelling errors or speech errors?

A speech impediment is a narrower concept and concerns only the phonic sphere - articulation, that is the way of creating a sound in a speech apparatus. Speech defects concern broadly understood communication. They also include grammar, stylistics, logical structure of statements and linguistic competence, i.e. the ability to use the native language.

  • Speech and pronunciation disorders are around 40 percent. 6-year-olds.

Cradle job

In working on the correct speech, the participation of the parents themselves is invaluable - from the very first moments of a child's life. Speech therapists are in favor of natural feeding because the muscles of the tongue, lips and jaw that work at that time are physiologically trained for the benefit of future pronunciation. If your baby needs to be fed artificially, pay attention to the length and shape of the nipple and the size of the opening. When feeding, keep your baby in a semi-upright position, not horizontally. On the other hand, the sleeping position should ensure a horizontal position of the spineIn a crib and a pram, there must be a thin pillow, because too low or too high a head position causes disorders of the muscles and the temporomandibular joint. A constantly open mouth is a disturbing symptom in a toddler. Babies who breathe through their mouths need to be examined by a specialist. We can do so much before our child stands on its feet.

And later?

Children should move, sing, dance, draw, imitate. They should also have an understanding of their own body schema (e.g. know where the left side is and where is the right side). You should talk to your child as much as possible, read it, participate in its games and … patiently answer questions. If a child does not or asks few questions, it is a sign that he or she needs careful attention. By asking, the child learns the world. He also learns to communicate. A three-year-old asks about 50 questions a day on average. And good! It is better for the parents to be patient and not to sell the child just anything, because ignoring the questions kills the innate cognitive ability.

Talking all the time

It seems that in the age of the Internet, in times when parents are getting better educated, our children should speak better. Unfortunately, speech defects are proportionally the same as they were years ago. Why? Because we do not have time to talk to children, be with them, explain the world. The Internet and computer games stimulate visual, but not auditory perception. They also won't build proper relationships, they won't learn how to communicate with people. How our child will communicate with the world depends mainly on us.

"Zdrowie" monthly

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!