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Speech Impediments

Children between the ages of two and four may occasionally stumble over their words, especially if they are tackling a large sentence for their age, or learning new words. If they are excited and in a rush to tell you something, they may repeat syllables. “I want the b-b-ball,” or “T-T-Tell me a story.”

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Children between the ages of two and four may also have tendencies to pronounce words incorrectly. For instance, a child may say “I yike that toy,” or “I want a gwill cheese.” Many times these mispronunciations are due to the fact that the muscles a child uses for speech isn’t fully developed or coordinated.

Mild stuttering and mispronunciations generally go away as children mature. However, if they linger, children need to be evaluated by a pediatrician. Speech impairments may signal a learning or hearing problem that could interfere with the child’s ability to progress in school. A parent can enroll their child in speech therapy to help them overcome speech difficulties.

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy will begin with diagnostic testing. The child will be given a speech and language test. This test will help the therapist understand more about the problems, and the type of program that will be implemented to aid the child overcome speech impediments. The test will also be the marker in which a child’s future progress is measured from.

There is no known cure for stuttering. However, speech therapists can teach a child how to talk in such a way that it is more relaxing and easier for them. Speech therapy can help to build up a child’s self esteem, and help them to be more comfortable when speaking in a school or in a peer setting.

Children who have trouble with pronouncing certain syllables, letters, or letter combinations can also benefit with speech therapy. A therapist will coordinate exercises for them which will enable immature speech muscles to be strengthened. Therapists can also guide a child through the proper pronunciations by showing them the proper placement of their lips and tongue.

Children who show signs of having a speech impediment should be given help as soon as possible. If the help is not given, the child may come to dislike school and refuse to participate in social activities as they become older.

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