Becoming a new parent comes with a lot of joy and a share of responsibilities as well. As a parent, everyone wants their baby to be perfect and adorable as they might have thought. But, things are not always how it seems. During your parenting journey, you will learn a few things, discover new feats, and obtain overwhelming patience. This will form the base of an incomparable foundation, that is the bond between you and your child.
When your tiny tot is just months old, you tend to understand his/her needs through your intuition. Your inner voice will eventually be your guide, as your child grows up, to ensure all development takes place on time.
Baby’s normal speech development starts from the very first day your baby is born. During infancy, babies are unable to speak because they are still developing their ability to do so.
Speech development is a journey that you and your child will cover hand in hand. However; this path may have a few hurdles to overcome. Speech delay are of various types and come with a different indication or signs. An outline of this was discussed in our previous article on Speech development and delays.
How to Overcome Speech Delay
Speech delay is an issue that every parent fears. What comes next is how to overcome these speech disorders?
With a few helpful steps starting from home, your child can outgrow this as soon as possible. Listed below are a few steps that would help your baby overcome speech disorders.
- Most babies stutter initially, and that persists for a shorter period. This might stop after a few weeks like once they get fluent and confident with their words their stuttering would stop.
- Let your baby talk, give them time, don’t interrupt or stop while your baby is speaking.
2. Speech/Sound Disorders
- Your child might say incorrect words or delivers an unclear speech.
- Let your baby talk without interrupting. It’s more important for them to speak rather than correcting them at their initial stage.
- Use the correct words and pronounce sounds correctly when you talk. Your baby will follow the examples set forward by you.
- It is okay if your baby makes mistakes with sounds initially. You can correct them once they’re fluent with their speech.
3. Voice Disorders
- Your child might produce hoarse voice or nasal-sounding voice.
- Don’t let your child scream or shout for any reason. This can lead to hoarseness of their sound. Refrain from doing so yourself when in the presence of your child.
- Keep your child away from smoke and pollution, as these can lead to nasal-sounding voice.
4. Language Disorders
- Listen and respond to your children carefully. Communicate with your child in a language that you are comfortable using.
- Talk, read and play with your children. Use longer sentences when your child gets older.
5. Child Apraxia of Speech
- Consult an SLP (Speech Language Pathologist) if your child faces difficulty in putting sentences together or has trouble with the pronunciation.
- Use visual cues or touch cues for your baby. For example: Making them watch themselves in the mirror. This will help them give feedbacks.
- Make your child practice speech. CAS is a disorder of speech coordination.
- Make your child repeat syllables, words, sentences, and longer utterances to improve muscle coordination and sequencing for speech.
6. Chronic Ear Infection
- Using a warm washcloth can help minimize the pain and help in cleaning the fluid persisting inside the ear.
- Encourage resting. Adequate rest stimulates your baby’s immune system which will further help in fighting infections.
- Consult a doctor before using eardrops or any kind of medication.
7. Hearing Loss
- Consult your pediatrician if your baby doesn’t pass a newborn hearing test.
- Consult an audiologist if you feel your baby is not responding, paying attention or does not follow your instructions by the time your baby is 3 months old.
- Your child might not imitate gestures or respond back.
- Try playing outdoors with your child.
- Read, talk and with your child.
- Initiate conversation, try to engage your child in talks and playful activities.
- Be gentle, do not panic. Give them time to speak, time to learn.
- Try to bond with your child. Acknowledge his/her interests.
- Try to focus on what your child is saying. Listen more and do not interrupt.
- Play with your baby and let him play with other children as well.
List of things to overcome speech delay problems
- Start little by little. Use gestures, expressions and such alternative mode of communication.
- Speak slowly and loudly to your child, it will help your child to understand well.
- Reduce distractions and noisy surroundings when you are teaching your child how to speak.
Things which parents should keep in mind
It is very important to know that speech delays can pass from parents to children. Maternal depression or genetic disorders can affect your child and lead to speech delays. Consulting a doctor as soon as any signs of delays, are noticed at a newborn hearing test, is a must.
Parents should ensure that these factors are taken care of and opt for above-mentioned ways for better speech development. Do not hesitate to consult an audiologist or a speech-language pathologist to get your baby’s speech development on track.