Speech problems

Heather - posted on 09/01/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My four year old daughter Makayla(6-2-05) still does not speak 100% clearly. I can understand probably 95% of what she says but other adults sometimes have more troubleunderstanding her. The funny thing is that from what I can tell other kids have no problem understanding her. I had her evaulated for speech therapy last year but she just barely missed the margin to quailfy for therapy and her pediatrician doesn't think there is a problem. She is a happy kid and very outgoing once she gets warmed but it takes her a while to get warmed up to new people, mainly adults and I feel like its because she is worried they wont be able to understand her so I am very worried about her going to Kindergarten next year. (She just got used to her new preschool class and it took over 3 weeks) I also have a five year old daughter whom we have on video speaking perfectly clearly before she was even two so I my question is what age should kids speak clearly and does anyone have any advice on ways for me to help my daughter learn to speak clearly?

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Elizabeth - posted on 10/06/2009

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hi heather get your pre school teacher to write a report on makayla speech and how she is getting on in class.if she finds there is a problem with the speech and lanuage bring this to your pediatrician and tell him you want her reassesed.write down everything she trys to say but can,t.write down everything like you said here like it takes her a while to get use to new people.all that kind of stuff. then when you go back you have it all in front of you so you dont forget anything.even if its tiny write it down.i did this with karl my son and it helped.so when they asked me something i had it in front of me.it could be something small like the sounds of some letters.i know some kids with that problem and after 6 mths speech was perpect.hope this helps keep in touch.liz.x.

User - posted on 09/29/2009

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Hi Heather! I have a 4 yr old with a lisp, and a 8 yr old who is autistic and had a significant speech delay. Speech is helpful at this age but having sat through the sessions so often, I realized it is very easy to do at home as well. You can make or buy flash cards with pics on them of different things and have the child say the word and then encourage them to say it properly, always positive though, never discourage. There are lots of activities like this to be found on the net. I would like to say that one mom mentioned that the child might get picked on, but my autistic son is in the 3rd grade and we have never experienced this, the kids actually rally around him and try to help him when he has a problem with something. If you do have an issue with a bully the best thing to do is contact the teacher and principal. Constant contact with the teacher is very important.

Emma - posted on 09/25/2009

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hi I'm emma, I have a 4 year old boy and a 15 month old baby girl.I used to work in a job role helping parents with their kids early language development.
Some tips I would give you are (if you still use a dummy (pacifier) try and remove it. 'Dummy talk' is a big cause of unclear speech) Also like Heather said do lots of repetition-if she says a word unclearly to you, just repeat it back correctly to her-making sure she can see the movement of your mouth, saying it slowly. Don't make your conversation too complex-use key words that you want her to hear and say.
Name lots of things and places as you go around, making talking+listening fun and educational.
Read 1-1 with her, get her to 'tell you the story' by looking at the pictures and discuss who is in the story, what happens and the ending.
If her understanding is ok then don't worry too much, for example if she can follow simple instructions such as put the plate in the sink and the napkin in the bin.
Its a lot more common for kids under 5 to have delays with their spoken language than their understanding. Some sounds like f, s, and t can develop later.
A lot will probably fall into place now she's at pre-school and has social interaction.
If she's not getting frustrated that other kids are mis-understanding her-thats great because she's not got low confidence. Play is great to practise speech too e.g. play shop.
Don't compare to your elder daughter-my 2 are so different+ each child has their individual strengths. And count yourself lucky-where I live in Manchester, England, 4 year old kids start formal school at 4 years (problems or not). My little boys just started and he's a young one in the year. At least you have a year or so to work on Makayla's talking xxx good luck, you sound like a devoted mummy

Jennifer - posted on 09/20/2009

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my oldest son, now 6, is in first grade. He too has a speech problem that sounds very similar to your daughter's. He did get speech therapy from age 2 until he was "disqualified" going into kindergarten at age 5. He kept missing the margin as well when tested and I had to really push for therapy every year (between the ages of 2-5). I waited through kindergarten to see if he would qualify again but didn't. We finally had to take him to a speech therapist outside of the school and pay out of pocket.

He did fine in kindergarten and the other kids didn't seem to notice his speech problems. Talking to his current speech thereapist though, they will notice in 2nd & 3rd grade and may get picked on.

My advice is to try and nip it in the bud before it becomes a social problem. Don't think that she will outgrow this.

Jen

Sarah - posted on 09/16/2009

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One day or even one week at a time have her practice certain words. Do it every day. My 4 year old had speech delay and now my almost 2 year old does as well. I do daily words one on one and it helps alot.

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