Edit ModuleShow Tags

Speech Struggles

What can you do if your child has a speech or language problem?


Published:

Speech and language disorders can take the form of a problem in speech production or language usage. A speech problem usually refers to challenges in articulation (for example, the “r” sound)—the speaker is saying words correctly but the listener has trouble understanding—or a problem with speech fluency such as stuttering.

Students with articulation problems are often self-conscious about their speech, which may affect their social confidence, and, in turn, make them prone to behavioral problems because of the frustration they feel when trying to express themselves. As a result, early intervention is often critical.

A language disorder can involve a problem with receptive language in which a person has difficulty processing language, such as having trouble understanding directions from a teacher, or a challenge with expressive language in which he has trouble putting his thoughts into words in an appropriate manner.

If you have a child whom you suspect has a disorder, you have a resource: All public-school districts in New Jersey have speech-language therapists to help students. You can access these services by calling your child’s school and requesting a “screening” or evaluation by the speech-language therapist.

If the therapist does an evaluation of your child, request to meet with her to find out the results. She will help you determine whether the problem is developmental, indicating that in time it will correct itself as many speech problems do, or whether it requires therapy. If therapy is warranted, the therapist will work with your child either on a one-to-one basis or in a small group. The teacher may also play a role in helping your child, but her role is not to treat the speech problem but rather to impart her experience and confidence speaking in class.

If a problem is identified, find out what you can do at home. Whatever you do, make sure not to draw attention to his speech difficulties or frequently correct his errors. It is more helpful to focus more on what he has said rather than how he has said it. Frequently talking about or trying to fix his speech will likely only discourage him from talking.

A child with speech problems may have trouble accessing the right words and, as a result, may need additional time to express his thoughts. If so, be patient with your child and give him more time to answer after asking questions.

Kenneth Shore, a psychologist, teaches part-time at Rutgers University.

 

Read on language struggles from NJ Family:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Is Your School One of the 100 Best Public Elementary Schools in NJ?

Niche has released their 2019 list naming the top 100 elementary schools in the Garden State.

6 Hoodies That Are (Almost) Too Cool for School

Get ’em pumped for a new school year with threads they’ll love.

Fall STEM Programs The Kids Will Love

Give your junior builders a boost with these robotics, coding and engineering programs.

How to Let the Kids Learn to Problem Solve

Yup, that means letting go.

Ask the Expert: Motivating Students to Achieve Through High Expectations

Students who learn differently are capable of achieving and meeting high expectations, and are doing that and more at Landmark College in Vermont.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sign Up for Our Newsletter!

Consider your weekends planned!
Get the best NJ events, festivals, concerts and activities for families delivered straight to your inbox. 


Edit ModuleShow Tags

   

Edit ModuleShow Tags