We all know a kid who have unintelligible speech or unclear speech. Unclear speech can affect child’s interaction with adults and their peers. Depending on the severity of the problem Development of language and social skills can be delayed too. Even if the child does not have any problems with their speech there are ways to make their speech better.
Here are few ways to make your child’s speech better and clear.
1. Encouraging slow speech
The way kids think and observe things is fast but expressing it takes time. When they try to speak faster it makes the speech hard to understand for the listener. Sometimes kids try to talk faster when they know that the listener is not paying attention. Make sure you pay attention to what your child is saying and make them believe that you are listening to them.
2. Speech exercises
Sometimes kids say a consonant differently like “gog” to “dog” or “tau” to “cow”. Reason for this is that many consonant sounds use the same oral movements. Difference is how we use tongue and voice to change the sound. When kids are learning to talk, they might miss these small details and say the sound wrong. Try saying the words slowly and use whisper so it is easier for them to understand the voice and tongue movements.
Sometimes they miss the last, initial or middle sound of the words like “poon” for “spoon”, “bicut” for “biscuit”. Ask them questions about the word they said. Make them repeat the word with extra emphases on the missed sound.
For young kids play and say words or sounds. Like “koo-koo” while playing with a train. Talk about the toy and sounds in clear and slow speech. Let the child observe you Oro- motor movements.
4.Consult a Speech & Language Pathologist
There can be other issues with your child’s speech like developmental delay, Oro motor muscle weakness, Articulation error, phonological disorder or Apraxia. A speech pathologist assesses the child and can help the child make his speech better.