Speech problems among children are common. When you realize that your child has speech defects, don’t panic. There’s still an opportunity to solve the problem. There are experts who offer speech therapy for children. You will notice drastic changes after a few sessions. Here are some tips to consider to help your child with speech defects.
Speak clearly with your child
Just because your child can’t speak clearly doesn’t mean you should do the same. You’re only emphasizing a wrong idea. Your child might think that the pronunciation is correct when it’s not. Even if you understand the mispronounced words, continue talking intelligibly. Be a good model when speaking so your child will follow what you say.
Repeat the words
When your child says something incorrectly, repeat the word. Say it with the correct pronunciation. Enunciate the words and speak slowly. Your child will repeat what you said and correct the previous pronunciation.
Learning how to speak doesn’t have to be boring. Use visual aids. Videos are also fun. Find something that your child feels interested in, and use it to teach correct pronunciation. Start with familiar pictures or words that are already familiar to offer a sense of accomplishment.
If you don’t understand what your child says, ask questions. Offer a set of words based on what you think is closest to the word spoken by your child. If the answer is no, give another word. Repeat the process until you agree on a word.
Introduce something new
Take the process slowly, and don’t force your child to be a fast learner. Children learn at a different pace. You already understand that your child has communication problems, so introduce new words when you believe your child is ready.
Be precise with your words
When you speak with other people, you should also enunciate the words. Speak clearly when you’re with your child. You don’t want to correct your child’s incorrect pronunciation when you also do the same. Inform friends and visitors to speak normally with your child. They might notice the speech problems while talking, but it’s not a reason for them to baby talk.
Don’t show your frustration
Your child already feels frustrated not being able to say the words clearly. If you do the same, your child will feel worse. Be patient in teaching correct pronunciation. Besides, if you have already asked for help from a speech therapist, you will see noticeable progress within a few weeks. You are an extension of the therapy experts. If both of you already feel exhausted, take a break, as you might even end up fighting with each other. Continue learning later after getting sufficient rest.
Try your best to help using these techniques. Some might work, while others won’t. Try different strategies until you notice progress. However, don’t compare your child with others. Sure, there are milestones to accomplish at a specific age, but you should patiently allow your child to learn until you reach your goals.