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Children who have speech problems become, most often, withdrawn, irritable, insecure, their development is inhibited and learning disorders may occur. That’s why it’s very important that you observe your children, so that you can discover if they have certain speech problems.

If you have identified such a problem in a child aged about 3.5 – 4 years, take him to a speech therapist. If the correction process of these speech problems doesn’t begin early in life, experts warn that the process will be much more difficult in the future.

The most frequent speech disorder among preeschoolers is dyslalia. It is defined as a pronunciation disorder caused by organic or functional problems with the peripheral organs of speech, and it consists in the inability to emit one or more sounds. Experts estimate that at age 5, dyslalia affects about 26% of girls and 34% of boys. By the age of 8 years, the number of children affected by this issue drops to 15% in the case of girls and 16% in the case of boys.

How does dyslalia actually manifest? Symptoms can be varied, here are some of them: replacement of some sounds with others, distortion of sounds, omission thereof, changing of syllables in a word, wrongly placed emphasis, “swallowing” of word endings, sloppy pronunciation, speech rhythm and tempo disorders, stuttering. If you want to find out more easily if your little one has such a problem, pay a lot of attention at the way he pronounces the letters r, c, g, t, s, z, j, b, d, t, m, n, a, e, u. These sounds are the most affected by dyslalia.

If these speech problems aren’t resolved by the age of 4 years, consult a speech therapist who will elaborate a program for correcting speech defects that is adapted to the individual characteristics of the child. Even though most of these problems cannot be solved without the intervention of a specialist who offers a number of special techniques, there are some practical advices you can follow both in order to prevent speech problems and to correct them, possibly in addition to sessions with a speech therapist.

So, here are some tips from specialists in speech therapy to efficiently correct your children’s speech:

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So, here are some tips from specialists in speech therapy to efficiently correct your children’s speech:

  • Develop the child’s jaw and tongue muscles by: vigorous chewing of food, rinsing the mouth, inflating the cheeks, the passage of air from one cheek to the other and vice versa, etc.

  • Talk to you child exclusively in a correct English language. Although sometimes the temptation is high, don’t use baby talk.

  • Read poems and short stories with your child on a daily basis.

  • Talk as often as possible with your little one. Answer all of his questions patiently and encourage him to ask even more questions.

  • Speak as correctly and clearly as possible. Repeat a word or a phrase several times, while changing the place of words.

  • Help your child do daily correct sound articulation exercises, which aims to correct the functioning of the muscles that participate in the pronunciation of sounds. These include training exercises for the organs that are involved in the production of sounds, the correct positioning of the lips, tongue, etc. For starters, these exercises will be completed in front of the mirror.

  • Do not overstrain your child. These session should not last more than 15-20 minutes.

  • Carry out different activities with your child which are designed to develop his fine motor skills.

  • If your child stutters, you can achieve good results in correcting this defect using music classes because they contribute to the development of breathing during speech, and of tempo and rhythm. These classes for children must not be boring. Try turning them into an exciting game, to create a friendly, quiet and encouraging atmosphere, which will predispose your child to achieve good results.

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