If your child has a speech, language or communication disorder getting them the help they need is surely a high priority of yours. Timely treatment delivers significantly better outcomes for kids with speech impairments like stuttering and articulation disorders that make effective communication difficult. However, it’s also important for parents and children to understand what’s involved, the different activities, exercises and methods, the jargon used and how the process will unfold. What’s more, families need to know their role in the treatment process and what they need to do to achieve the best outcome.
Know the Benefits of Treatment
For parents and children whose ability to communicate is affected by a speech, language or communication disorder, effective treatment can take just a few weeks or months, or it could take many years. Moreover, this can all be made even harder if the child is very young, or their personality or condition, like autism or oppositional defiant disorder (ODD, makes them unreceptive to treatment and puts additional strain on the family.
Speech therapy can also be hard work for families in that it isn’t enough to attend therapy sessions on a weekly or fortnightly basis — you’ll need to work hard at home and dedicate time to improving your child’s speech and language development.
However, despite the often long process, speech therapy treatment provided by a qualified and caring paediatric speech pathologist can deliver life-changing benefits and significant outcomes that makes everything worthwhile. These benefits and outcomes include:
- Better education outcomes
- Communicating more effectively
- Enjoying socialising and social interactions.
In a nutshell, speech therapy can transform your child’s life. That’s something to remember with your child’s treatment, even though they may be too young to realise it. However, stay positive throughout and communicate the benefits to them and make speech therapy as fun, enjoyable and interactive as possible. Also, remind your child to listen carefully to their therapist and you should both follow their advice to get the most from their treatment.
As the benefits of treatment take effect, most children become more receptive to treatment, and if you make the most of the daily opportunities to interact with your child in meaningful everyday situations, they’ll remember and look back on the overall experience positively.
Know the Risks of Not Getting Treatment
Just as it’s important to know the benefits, so too is it important to know the risks of delaying treatment, or even worse, not seeking help at all. Studies show that children with speech and language disorders are at greater risk of mental health issues, including depression caused by social isolation due to an inability to communicate effectively with others.
As a parent, be aware that just as speech and language therapy can transform their life for the better, not getting your child the help they need puts them at risk and will likely impact their life negatively. Is that the outcome you want for your child? What’s more, as you likely have access to speech therapy through the NDIS or Medicare, what do you have to lose?
When you’re ready to book an appointment for your child or learn more about our speech and occupational therapy services at our Newcastle speech pathology clinic, please contact Educare online or call us on 02 4067 3753.