The Impact of Speech on Social and Emotional Development

Expert Corner Speech Disorders Speech Therapist Speech Therapy for Kids Uncategorized

From birth, children’s developmental capacities are constantly growing and maturing. Speech provides all of us with imperative tools for learning and interacting with others. Uncovering speech issues early on in children can be beneficial for future emotional development.  For some parents it may be difficult to decipher emotional signs, as opposed to physical signs correlated with speech or language complications.  I spoke with child and adolescent psychotherapist, Irena Kenny about the importance of speech in a child’s everyday life, as well as emotional and social obstacles, which might arise if a child is struggling with self expression.  

 

Q: How important are speech, language and communication skills for a child’s social and emotional development?

A: Speech and language are vital for the development of emotional and social skills in children. Communication is one of the most important developmental tasks, which takes place during early childhood development. It is then, children begin to form their initial understanding of the world. Difficulty in the realm of language and communication during childhood can hinder a child’s ability to confidently express their ideas and observations of the world around them. Some younger children, who do not have a well developed fund of language have all of these ideas and observations of the world in their minds, but feel unable to make themselves understood to others. Older children who suffer from speech issues such as poor annunciation, stuttering, and other unclear speech patterns may isolate themselves, withdraw from peers, and avoid situations such as speaking out loud, or minimize verbal interactions with others. A few symptoms of difficulty to express one’s thoughts clearly at earlier stages of development are low frustration tolerance, emotional outbursts, and excessive shyness. However, there are also children whose speech might appear less advanced than that of their peers, but they seem unbothered and confident.

Q: How do speech and language challenges affect academic progress?

A: Speech or some forms of linguistic expression are important for academic success; this is because, reading, writing and verbal apprehensions are essential elements of the entire learning process. When a child begins school they start to observe their surroundings and socialize predominantly with kids their own age. At this point they begin to notice a difference in their own speech compared to their classmates. For children with speech issues, it may seem majority of their peers have the ability to express themselves in a more articulate, more easily understood fashion. This realization of sounding different can have an emotional effect, ultimately leading to lower confidence, potentially causing lower class performance. But again, while some children become overly frustrated, others may not have any awareness of their speech issue. However, for some of the more self- conscious kids, rejection and teasing by peers may cause all energy to be expended on dealing with the social aspect of functioning and little energy is left to be put toward academic growth . For others, the need to avoid dealing with uncomfortable interpersonal situations can lead to isolation and possibly focusing heavily on the academic growth whilst inadvertently neglecting the social growth and development.

Q: When should speech and language enrichment take priority over other enrichment activities?

A:  If you ever feel that either speech or language (either receptive or expressive) seem to negatively affect your child’s ability to fully enjoy and participate in daily life, you should consider contacting a specialist. If a child is constantly struggling, due to speech related issues and does not seem to be making any progress, it is important to intervene and find the appropriate help best suited for you and your child. As a parent, I feel it is important to remember there is a range within each and every age group, and anxiously comparing your child to those of your peers does not always provide a clear cut sign of an issue. If you are uncertain or concerned, speak to your child’s teacher or pediatricians, who are qualified to advise you about what is and isn’t developmentally appropriate and together you can explore your concerns. If necessary they will help with making a referral to a Speech Therapist/Speech Language Pathologist, who will be able to determine the exact nature of your child’s speech related issue.

Q: What steps should be taken to find the right SLP?

A: It is a joint effort when looking for a Speech Language Pathologist best suited for parent and child. Speaking with your child’s pediatrician for an initial evaluation may help determine whether there is an overall need for therapy. Your physician will be able to provide names of SLP’s they have worked with before. Another helpful tip is to speak to friends, family members, or parenting networks, such as Park Slope Parents about recommendations for clinicians who may have previously helped their child. Ultimately, you want to find an SLP who is knowledgeable, plus able to work comfortably and safely with your child in order to promote the mastery and fine tuning of new and existing speech and language tools.

Guest post by Samantha Cardinali

Your Child Has Multiple Speech Language Goals – What to do!

Your Child Has Multiple Speech Language Goals – What to do!

Speech Therapy for Kids

Once you’ve had your child assessed for a speech or language disorder and you’ve been told of the various goals that need to be targeted, you might find yourself throwing your hands in the air, baffled as to where to begin. It can certainly be overwhelming to wrap your head around a comprehensive treatment plan for your child. What speech language goals should be targeted first? And, how can I, a motivated parent, get involved? This post is dedicated to empowering parents in becoming more active partners in both the selection and implementation of appropriate goals for your child’s treatment plan. By understanding the rationale for as well as tips for how to best target each goal, in terms of overall child language development, you can be better equipped to support your child and help move him or her through these goals more efficiently.

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Stuttering in Children and Toddlers

Stuttering in Children and Toddlers

Language Development Speech Therapy for Kids

I get this question very often in my private practice. Many parents have observed in their young children (birth to age 5) a difficulty in forming fully fluent sentences. The task of forming coherent, perfectly articulated, and fluent language is a tall task and one that can take the whole of childhood to master. So, in many cases, stuttering in children or a disruption in their fluent speech is perfectly normal and not something that would require the attention of a speech therapist. Because stuttering is by far the most common type of speech dysfluency, I will focus today’s post on stuttering. However, there are several factors that parents should consider when faced with speech dysfluencies. These factors can very quickly give you, the parent, an indication of whether you would need to consult with a local speech therapist.

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Tips for Improving Your Toddler’s Speech Clarity

Tips for Improving Your Toddler’s Speech Clarity

Speech Therapy for Kids Speech Therapy Techniques

It can take up to about second grade for a child to acquire fluent speech that is free of articulation errors. However, certain patterns of errors can make a child less understandable to his or her communication partners. This also applies to younger children. Today I wanted to highlight some of these patterns and give you, the parent, some suggestions for improving toddler speech clarity.

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How Long Does Speech Therapy Take to Work?

How Long Does Speech Therapy Take to Work?

Speech Therapy for Kids

Let’s dedicate a blog post to a very important and practical question: “how long does speech therapy take to work?” The short answer is, and I must be honest…I don’t know, nor does any speech-language pathologist (SLP). But there are several factors that affect how long you should expect therapy to take:

  • the nature of your child’s speech challenge;
  • the severity of that challenge;
  • whether your child is also working through other learning or behavioral challenges;
  • the competence of your therapist;
  • and how involved you, as a parent, are.

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Summer Speech Therapy Practice: The End of the School Year is Nigh

Summer Speech Therapy Practice: The End of the School Year is Nigh

Speech Therapy for Kids

I am in shock too, but believe or not, we are mere weeks away from the end of the school year. Undoubtedly, your child’s speech services are winding down as well. And although we (and especially our kids) have every right to be very much looking forward to summer, I always recommend at this time of year a series to tips to my families. Whatever the hiatus from therapy is (a week or two or even the whole summer)—now is the best time to plan some summer speech therapy practice to carry over what our kids have learned and, if therapy is slated to continue come the fall, then we can hit the ground running.

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Tips for Raising a Bilingual Child — by a Speech Pathologist

Tips for Raising a Bilingual Child — by a Speech Pathologist

Language Development Speech Therapy for Kids

This post is dedicated to all you lucky families who come from linguistically diverse backgrounds, and who are in the process of raising bilingual (or even multi-lingual children though in this post I will just use the term “bilingual”). The truth is: I really envy you. Being bilingual is a special gift, one that I wish my two young children could benefit from. But, unfortunately, both my wife and I come from monolingual, English-speaking backgrounds and even though I speak formerly-fluent German—I am too out-of-practice to call it fluent—and my wife studied Italian in college, there is really no hope for us: our kids simply don’t have a rich enough home environment to acquire the special brain wiring to be truly bilingual. But, just because one or even both of the parents in a family come from strong background in say, Spanish, Chinese or Armenian, that does not mean the child(ren) will automatically be bilingual. Bilingualism takes dedication and consistency throughout childhood. I will go over several tips that can help support bilingualism in your family, both in the context of a developmental speech and language challenge and with typically developing speech and language. Armed with practical information, you can feel confident in pursuing bilingualism for your child and endow them with a lifelong gift.

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What is Speech Therapy like? One Mommy’s Story.

What is Speech Therapy like? One Mommy’s Story.

Parents' Corner Speech Therapy for Kids

If your child needs to see a speech therapist, there are a ton of great resources to help you through the process. Teachers, pediatricians, ASHA, and the all-knowing Google can guide you through the basics: from what’s an SLP to how to do I understand my IEP? But, there are times when you just want to hear about the experience from another parent. How did they react to the idea of speech therapy? How do they find the time for it? What is Speech Therapy like? What did their other kids think about their big brother having special appointments? Did they ever get a hang of all the acronyms? How do other families go from “I think we need to see someone” to “Speech therapy, yup, that’s a regular part of our family life.”

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6 Things To Expect from Speech Therapy at School

Parents' Corner School Speech Disorders Speech Therapist Speech Therapy for Kids
Speech Therapy at School

What Can You Expect from Speech Therapy at School?

Your child has a speech impediment and is scheduled to begin kindergarten in the fall. Like most parents, you are filled with excitement about the upcoming year. For parents whose children have speech disorders, the excitement can be coupled with anxiety about how the other children in the class will react to your child’s speech impediment and how well your child will learn in a classroom setting. As we mentioned in our previous blog, research has shown that children with speech disorders are more likely to be the target of bullying and teasing. What can you do to help prepare your child, teacher, and your child’s class? You can start by addressing the issue with your school’s Speech- Language Pathologist. An on-site, school SLP is an excellent resource for parents to help prepare their child with language and confidence-building skills for the school year.

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Speech Therapy for Kids: 4 Topics to Discuss With Your Speech Therapist

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Speech Therapy for Kids

Speech Therapy for Kids: 4 Crucial Topics to Cover After Your First Visit

Our series this week talks about your child’s first visit to a speech therapist. Once your child has been diagnosed with a speech impediment or a speech disorder and your appointment is set, you want to make sure to be as knowledgeable and organized as possible in order to get the best out of the first visit. We have given you a handful of tips on what to expect from your first visit to the speech therapist. After the visit is complete, you can expect your SLP to review the results of your child’s evaluation and recommend a treatment plan. But there should be more to it. The results aren’t always cut and dry. You will want to make sure to cover the following topics so you are well informed about your child’s treatment going forward.

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