Speech evaluation is the treatment for most kids with speech and/or language disorders. Improving your child’s speech evaluation can feel overwhelming for a parent. It might feel nerve-wracking or a little bit difficult to have concerns about your child’s communication. This article how you can improve your child’s speech or language evaluation.
What is speech or language evaluation?
It is the measurement of a person’s communication skills. It is done to find out if a person has communication problems. It is done by asking questions about your child and testing the child. The length of the evaluation will vary with the amount of testing that needs to be done. During your child’s evaluation, you may need to evaluate your child’s understanding and use of different words, Correct use of words in correctly formed sentences, Use of language for different purposes, Pronunciation of speech sounds, Physical ability to produce speech, Voice quality, Fluency or smooth flow of speech.
Measurements taken during the speech evaluation
1. Oral examination
This aspect as to do with observing your child’s face, lips, teeth, tongue, palate, and throat. It also includes observing how well they perform in such activities as eating, tongue movement, lips movement, or making alternating lip and tongue movements rapidly.
2. Voice training
This has to do with how long your child can hold a tone on one breath, the child’s pitch range (how low and how high the child can sing), and the pitch that the child usually uses to talk.
3. Flency or eloquence
This has to do with observing how the child speaks. Parents must listen for sounds and words that are repeated or elongated, hesitations, and fillers.
Top ten activities for developing and improving your child’s speech and language skills
There are many simple activities that you can do with your child to develop their speech and language skills. They include:
1. Be a good role model to your kid
Speak clearly and slowly when speaking to your kid. Rather than correct or ask your kids to repeat a word or sentence they say incorrectly, just say the word or sentence back to them correctly and make sure they get the word or sentence correctly. This is how children learn language.
2. Create time to reflect on your child’s language skills
Try to know the aspects of communication that seem to be difficult for your child and aspects of communication that are easier for your child. Be concerned about your child’s communication ability. Be as specific as possible with different examples you can think of.
3. Encourage them to read books
Reading books help in developing language and early literacy skills. Research shows that children that have been exposed to books before they start schooling often develop early literacy skills. It is however important that you inculcate the habit of reading in your child.
4. Make every opportunity a language learning activity
Parents should make every activity a language learning activity. You can point to things, name them, ask a question some minutes after you’ve named them. There is no need to create a specific time or day to teach them language, every activity is a language learning opportunity.
5. Motivating sound games
Using games can motivate your child to make sounds. Sometimes, getting them games that teaches them how words are pronounced, puzzles, spelling bee is more advisable. Parents should avoid getting their kids adventurous games at the early stage of their life.
6. Communication temptations
You can tempt your child with something motivating or a reward (for example, chocolate). This will encourage or motivate them to learn speech or a vocalization. For instance, holding onto to a candy jar but not giving it out until he/she gets it right.
7. Listen and observe
It is important to note that listening is not the same thing as hearing. The development of speech or language is facilitated by the child’s interaction with others, with having a goal, and playing in an environment that allows you to stay concentrated. Furthermore, require your child to focus on things especially during interaction, this will build their observation skills.
Music is also a good method to involve your child and can be used in different ways to improve speech and language. Although, there are various types of music but it is important that we know the music they listen to. Encourage them to listen to edifying songs. Songs also focus on intonation, stress, rhymes and have a beat to them which helps with aspects of speech development.
9. Practice more often
Few children make no errors when learning to speak. But if your child has difficulty in speaking fluently, encouraging them to practice more often can help.
10. See a pediatrician or Clinician
If you find your child’s verbal development difficult or isn’t yielding any improvement, we recommend that you see a pediatrician or clinician. According to psychologists, Children who have had multiple ear infections are susceptible to temporary hearing loss, which can make it difficult to pronounce words correctly.