Speech and Language Difficulties
About the condition
Language is a beautiful gift. With it we can share our wants,our needs, thoughts, feelings, and everything that makes ushuman. When you spend time with your child, you have the power to give and nurture this gift of communication.
Many factors affect the rate at which children develop language. Although the stages that children pass through in the development of speech and language are very consistent, the exact age when they achieve these milestones vary.
Factors such as the child’s inborn ability to learn language, other motor skills, the amount and kind of language the child hears, and how people respond to communication attempts, can either slow down or accelerate the speed of speech and language acquisition. If a child is slow in speech and language acquisition, he/she may be suffering from speech/language difficulty.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
If you sense that your child’s language development is slow, you may wish to consult your paediatrician.
Alternatively, you can seek the advice of a speech therapist (ST). The ST can administer tests of receptive and expressive language, analyze a child’ s utterances in various situations, determine factors that may be slowing down language development, and counsel parents on the next step to take.
This can include suggestions on stimulating language development at home or being enrolled in an early intervention programme.
Your child’s progress can then be closely monitored.
Please obtain an appointment at the Child Development Unit for consultation with your developmental paediatrician.
Stimulating speech development in children
Speech and language delays in children can be prevented by stimulating your child’s language at his/her specific stage of language acquisition.
Talk and read to your child often. By reading books to your child as early as six weeks you can also put him/her on the road to better speech and language development.