8 Effective Ways to Help Your Child Speak Clearly
Are you also a parent, whose child is learning to speak new words every day, and sometimes facing problems while undergoing changes? Worry out, as these are the common phenomena for a growing mind, and learning a language is quite a tough task for a kid. But why is this important? Let’s have a look!!
Speech is an important attribute that a child must learn in the developing years helping him with cognitive, social, emotional, and academic aspects. According to medical science, it’s a warning sign if your child doesn’t speak words clearly by the age of 18 years. So, indulging them in activities that help them gain clarity is a responsible step as a parent.
Progress chart for babies from different age groups
Between birth and 3 months: Babies make cooing noises.
Between 4 and 6 months: Babies laugh, giggle, and make playful sounds.
By 12 months old: Babies make longer strings of sounds.
By 12-18 months:Baby starts saying a few words. They can range from 10-50 words.
It is not a problem if the baby doesn’t speak this much, as rates may vary. But it’s a warning sign if your baby doesn’t speak even 0-10 words.
By age 2:The child says two-word phrases, such as "Dog sit." "Mommy goes."
By age 3: The child has words for almost everything and speaks three-word phrases.
It’s a sign of good progress if your kid is learning the usage of new words every week.
How to know if your kid is facing a speech or a language delay?
Kids progress at their own rates and delaying by just a bit doesn’t pose a serious problem. So, how will you look for a speech delay in your child?
Age 2:Don’t use at least 25 words
Age 2 1/2:Doesn’t use unique two-word phrases or noun-verb combinations
Age 3:Doesn’t use at least 200 words, doesn’t ask for things by name, hard to understand even if you live with them
Any age: Unable to say previously learned words.
What can cause Speech Delay in Children?
Children who are not able to hear are also not able to speak. They find it difficult to listen and make out the exact pronunciation of the words which can cause delayed speech. It can be due to ear problems or other causes.
Lack of Stimulation
Without a proper environment, the child is not able to progress at the expected rate. In the current age, where both parents are working, it sometimes becomes impossible to spend enough time with your child and it may cause a problem.
There are various problems like Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome because of which the development of the child is slowed down, and he finds it difficult to progress at the required rate. Take your child to a doctor for the same.
Oral Muscular Problems
There can be a problem with the muscles involved in speaking and the child would not have been able to tell as he is unaware himself. Talk to your doctor if the problem persists.
Reduced development in other areas
Reduced problems in other areas such as cognitive, social, or emotional can cause speech delay.
How to help your child with speech delay?
There are various ways to treat kids with speech delays.
Treating the cause-
Consult your doctor to treat the cause. They may include-
Correcting hearing disabilities by going to an audiologist.
Occupational Therapy where children with autism and Down syndrome can be cured.
Treating speech problems by going to an audiologist.
Physical therapy to help with Oro- muscular problems.
You don’t need to worry as there are various measures by which you can help your child to speak clearly and efficiently as a parent.
Here are some measures, which can help your child speak with clarity.
Talk to your child in a clear speech
Kids generally copy their parents, so be a good example for them. To help your child speak clearly, you can talk clearly and slowly about things that interest them in a friendly manner. Speak the words correctly so they can copy you, and instead of asking them too many questions, make comments about what and how they’re speaking.
Correct your child gently
Pay close attention when your child talks and gives feedback. Telling them when they do well will surely encourage them to have fluency. If they make a mistake, gently let them know it and help them to correct it if they repeat it again. Without being upset or angry over their mistakes, help them learn and improve their speech so that they won’t feel discouraged.
Reading together and storytelling
Reading books with them is a great choice. Ask your child about their day and make them explain it starting in an easier way and modifying it with better words. Books with colorful pictures and simple words will keep them engaged and enhance their vocabulary in a creative way. Progress is much easier if done in a fun and engaging manner.
Encourage children to express their feelings and choices
Say your child to speak up and express themselves. This will motivate them to speak fluently and develop their self-confidence as well. Offer them choices instead of deciding everything for them will encourage them to use words for expressing their needs and preferences helping them to be an effective communicator.
Speech therapy for improving communication
Contact some professionals in case of any speech difficulties like an audiologist, speech pathologist, or child psychologist. In cases like stuttering, or unclear pronunciation, you should consult a speech therapist resulting in making a difference in your child’s ability to communicate clearly and confidently. They can figure out what's causing the problem and suggest ways to help your child get better at talking.
Social interactions are important
Set group activities, family picnics, and social gatherings with friends and relatives for your kids to support their language development and clear conversation. Kids learn how to talk and express themselves when they interact with their friends. They pick up new words, communication skills, and how to listen and respond effectively. These interactions promote better speech and also improve social as well as emotional development.
Limit their screen time
It’s important to limit the TV, Tablet, and Phone screen time of your child. They can face problems in their speech development. Encourage talking and interacting with others. Playing with toys, and reading books can ensure that screen time doesn’t affect their ability to communicate effectively and develop essential language skills.
It's crucial to be patient while supporting your child's speech development. Every child grows and learns at their own speed, so avoid rushing or pressuring them to speak perfectly. Have faith in them and with patience and a supportive approach, you can help your child become a confident and fluent speaker.
Speech acquisition is important for your child and it must start from an early age. It helps a child gain confidence and visibility among other peers and helps him socially, emotionally, and academically. A child who can’t express gets frustrated and starts doubting himself. So, help them to express themselves with ease.