How do I know that my child needs speech therapy? Find the best speech therapist in Kolkata.

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Speech is the way to communicate and connect with this world. In the early developing years, children gradually learn the process of speaking. The journey of a few uttering a few sounds to complete sentences is a very significant one. If a child fails or falls behind in that journey, parents should try to understand the problem and provide assistance to the child. Speech therapy is one such aid, which is required for children who are having difficulty speaking or facing some speech related problems. Speech therapy is the specialized treatment for any problem related to speaking.

Now questions arise, how a parent will understand that their child needs speech therapy???

The most important red flag which indicates the need for “Speech Therapy” is Delayed speech (delayed speech milestones). Usually, the communication or expressive language is considered to begin with the stage of pre-verbal communication in which infants use gestures and vocalization to make their intents known to others. Then they start vocalizing a few sounds which is called babbling. Gradually an infant’s proficiency in speech develops. A checklist of milestones for normal development from birth to 3 years of age is included below. These milestones help parents to understand if the child is on right track in terms of speech development.

Age Expected Speech Milestones
3 months Coos and smiles
6 months Babbles
12 months 1-2 words
18 months 1-2 word phrases
2 years -3 years Vocabulary of 100 words, using pronouns like I, Me, You., using small sentences
Procedure of seeking assistance when Speech Milestones are not Achieved

When a child is not being able to reach developmental milestones, he/she needs to go through an assessment. The parents need to make sure if the child’s hearing capacity is compromised or not. A child having hearing difficulty or disability naturally would not be able to speak. When the hearing problem is ruled out from the equation, paediatric/ child psychiatry consultation is required. The few common reasons behind lack of speech/speech delay can be: Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Mental Retardation, Brain Injury, etc. Paediatrician/ Child Psychiatrist usually refer for psychological assessment (IQ assessment, Scales for Autism, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity) or Brain Imaging (if symptoms indicate organicity/brain involvement). This flowchart shows steps followed in speech related problems.

How do I know that my child needs a speech therapist_Debabani Bhattacharya

There are few other problems for which, speech therapy is sorted and they are:

  • Pronunciation disorders: One of the prominent reason for seeking speech therapy is the inability to properly form certain word sounds. A child with this speech disorder may drop, swap, distort or add word sounds.
  • Fluency disorders. Sometimes the flow, speed, and rhythm of speech are impaired. Stuttering, cluttering are common examples of fluency disorders.
  • Resonance disorders. A resonance disorder occurs when a blockage or obstruction of regular airflow in the nasal or oral cavities alters the vibrations responsible for voice quality
  • Speech Disorders due to brain Injuries/ stroke: Due to brain injuries, different aspects of speech get affected. Sometimes they have difficulty understanding others (receptive disorders) or expressing their own thoughts (expressive disorder, Aphasia).

So overall one should seek speech therapy in the following scenarios: when a child has delayed developmental milestones, when child or adolescents make repeating sounds, also called as stuttering, when child adds extra sounds or words while speaking, Distorts the original words while speaking, has overall difficulties in understanding and expressing their thoughts due to brain injury or stroke.

Speech therapy can treat a broad range of speech and language delays and disorders in children. Early intervention can boost the confidence of the child, make them equipped to deal with the outer world. So please don’t hesitate to seek help. Speech Therapy can change the life of your child.

If you are looking for a speech therapist in Kolkata, reach out to the nearest speech therapist here.

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Debabani Bhattacharya
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