As parents, one of the most worrisome times is that when you discover that your child may not be developing in tandem with the average natural. Though this can happen to most children, parents almost have their world turned over when they realise that their child may be a late speaker or have other speech and language problems. This can be very difficult on parents and that may affect the progress your child may make even with the help of the best speech therapists. Yes, while you may have the best speech therapist in the world helping your child, the most important cog in the wheel of speech therapy is none but you- Parents. This is why PCI or Parent Child Interaction is considered one of the most important aspects of this therapy. Parents are the most influential in a child’s life and here are a few things parents should do while a child is undergoing speech therapy.
Patience is the most important thing. Speech therapy for children that have delayed speech or other speech problemsis a slow and gradual process. Rushing it can cause stress in the child and hamper the developmental process. Parents are the ones that lose their patience the most, which is understandable given their worry. But it is most important that parents develop a sense of patience to let the therapy take its needed time to help the child. Make it feel forced, will only hamper the child’s interest in the therapy and will further create problems.
Take the Lead
Always take the lead. Like we have already mentioned, the parent is the child’s biggest influencer. Research suggests that almost over 80% of the child’s vocabulary is developed from the interactions a child has with a parent. Even though an experienced therapist is helping your child, you should always take the lead in motivating your child and helping your child out. Besides, for a child a therapist starts of as a stranger. So your child trusts you more and that is why you should always take the lead while your child is undergoing speech therapy.
Become a child
Parents often only think from an adult’s perspective. This affects Parent Child Interaction or PCI. A child’s mind works differently and its perspective is absolutely different. Everything they see or experience is new for them. A parent of a child with delayed speech, undergoing therapy should try and practice to think like his or her child. This improves communication between child and parent, which makes the therapy process very effective.
Question your child less. Asking too many questions may confuse your child and drive them into a shell. Children who are late speakers have a problem communicating with others. So when you put forth too many questions, your child may find it difficult to answer not because he or she doesn’t have an answer but maybe because it is difficult for your child to put the answer together with words. This may drive your child into a shell, hampering the speech therapy process. Try to avoid that at all costs.
Instead of questioning a lot, try and comment on your child’s activities more. Of course it has to be largely positive. Commenting helps children feel at ease and while the therapy is on, this will help children learn new words and make an effort to comment back or communicate.
Appreciate your child’s Effort
It is the most important to appreciate your child’s effort. This motivates children and they start to involve themselves more just to earn your appreciation. Remember … for a child, the parents are the biggest role models and their approval means a lot to them. So cheer them on and you can be rest assured that your child will progress leaps and bounds in therapy.
Want to know more, on how you can help your child overcome delayed speech problems with speech therapy? Get in touch with Speech Plus right away.