Experiencing the little milestones a child achieves is one of the most rewarding and priceless things for a parent. On the other hand, if it takes them longer than usual to reach certain common abilities, it can definitely be worrisome for any parent.
While every child learns to speak at different stages, if you find your kid not developing substantially in that region, it is sure to cause you stress.
However, there are things you can do to help your child not fall behind, and this is where speech therapy and speech delay exercises for toddlers come in.
Speech therapy refers to a treatment that helps an individual speak or communicate with other people more efficiently.
It is usually done by speech therapists or specially trained speech and language pathologists (SLPs), who work with their patients to help them pronounce words better and string them together.
Speech therapists work with children who face speech delays and adults who experience speech impairment. Various kinds of speech therapy exist, and the type prescribed to your child depends on their age and the issue they are experiencing.
Toddlers can develop speech or language impairments because of an illness, brain disorder, or hearing issue. If you’re searching for speech delay exercises for toddlers, keep reading to explore some useful ones.
Toddler Speech Delay Exercises to Try Out
Some of the toddler speech delay exercises to try out include:
1. Read to Your Child
Merely keeping your child away from TV or gadgets doesn’t help; you need to add a more personal touch to your speech delay exercises. This can come in the form of reading to them, an activity that will also make them feel loved and cared for.
Read age-appropriate books to your toddler, such as picture books, that are fun, colorful, and interactive to a young mind.
When you read to your child, you get to interact with them. They listen to the way you make sounds and pronounce words, and they learn to use them, too.
2. Sing to Them
A child can actually learn how to sing before they even learn to speak full sentences. Sing to them to enhance their ability to speak. These don’t necessarily have to be songs, as you can also resort to nursery rhymes.
3. Make Use of Self-Talk
Self-talk is when you point to the objects around you and tell your child about everything you’re doing. This could refer to being in a grocery store and pointing out all the things on display or pointing to a ball while playing with your child and telling them what it is.
As you keep repeating this exercise, they keep learning new words, helping with their speech delay.
4. Introduce New Words And Hand Gestures
If your child already knows a few words, keep adding to those words. For example, if they say “bat,” you can say “blue bat,” and so on.
Use hand gestures to refer to actions or words, such as waving when you have to leave, clapping when needed, and gestures while singing rhymes to them.
5. Praise Their Efforts
Even a little bit of encouragement and appreciation goes a long way. Every time your child learns a new word or says a full sentence, remember to praise them for their efforts and progress.
6. Speak Slowly
Talk to your child slowly and clearly, so they understand every word. Speak to them directly, be patient, and repeat your words until they understand the difference between each sentence.
7. Bring in Shapes And Colors
Use colorful balls or building blocks and point out all the colors to your child. When this is done regularly, your child will learn the names of the various colors and have the ability to distinguish one shape from another.
When Does a Child Need Speech Delay Exercises?
Different children develop in different ways. While some progress pretty quickly, others take longer in terms of development. Here are some signs that show your toddler requires speech delay exercises:
When Your Toddler Stutters?
It is a speech disorder that reduces one’s ability to develop coherent sentences. Stuttering might usually occur when a child starts forming coordinated sentences at the tender age of 2 or 3. Some kids can also experience it later during their developmental stage.
Even if your child begins to stutter all of a sudden, parents will be able to notice it. If they face difficulty putting a sentence together or you see them being uncomfortable while talking, chances are that your kid is stuttering. Go to a speech therapist as soon as you notice these signs.
When Your Child Sticks to Just a Few Words?
A child can say a certain number of words depending on their age. A 2-year-old child, for instance, can speak about 50 words.
If they speak anything less than that, just know it’s something to be concerned about. It’s best to get it checked as early on as possible.
When Your Kid Can’t Articulate Certain Sounds?
Articulation forms a vital element of every toddler’s development. This can be done by listening to them carefully and observing the sounds they utilize to produce words. Take your child to a specialist if you notice them unable to churn out clear sounds.
Some kids could omit consonants and vowels and make use of only a few sounds for all the words they speak, pointing out issues with articulation.
When They Behave Withdrawn in Social Situations?
Not every child is extremely interactive in social situations. Some prefer to keep to themselves. While for some kids, this is because of their introverted nature, for some, it could be because they have trouble expressing themselves clearly through their words and sentences.
Such a situation could be challenging to monitor. However, if you observe them closely, this issue can be detected, post which it’s essential to take them to a speech therapist.
When Your Baby Doesn’t Understand Clear Statements?
Simple statements and clear orders can often serve as a sign of whether your child has issues with language and speech or not. If you witness them being unable to follow even the simplest of orders, take it as a warning and see a specialist without wasting much time.
Benefits of Speech Therapy For Children
Speech therapy offers many benefits, especially for children. They are as follows:
- It helps kids communicate through different methods, such as high-tech communication devices, tech communication books, communication apps, and so on. Therefore, it improves their language and communication skills.
- Possessing proper social skills helps children interact with others their age, and when they struggle with speech, these skills are tough to build. By resorting to speech therapy, children get to develop the necessary social skills. This is done through video modeling, social stories, role-playing, and other tools.
- Speech issues can impact a child’s ability to read, write, and listen. As they spend time with speech therapy, which improves their literacy and reading skills significantly.
- Through speech therapy, children learn to be more independent. When they learn about alternate communication methods, such as eye contact, facial expressions, and gestures, they no longer have to rely on their parents and guardians to convey their points.
Seeing your kid suffer from speech and language issues is upsetting as a parent. However, you can help them by looking up speech delay exercises that could prove very useful for your toddler. Just practice with them and see them improve with time.
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