Does anyone know how I can help my son with his speech problems??

LAtu - posted on 03/13/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My son is now 4 years old, and he has bad speech problems, still very hard to understand him, and he also finds it hard to understand me sometimes, Ive done a few activities with him, but not sure what else... Hes got slow development from problems at birth, and ive been trying... just not sure if its what he needs and hes starting school next year? So plz help if any ideas?

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Christy - posted on 03/18/2010

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We have a program here in Texas called ECI (early childhood intervention) however it only covers kids until age three. After that they are referred to the local school districts for therapy, and it is all free. Maybe you have something he can through at the local schools now, and he can still use them once he starts school. They offer speech therapy, and once they are on school, they are removed from class about an hour each time for it. I would call asap so he doesn't fall behind. I know what you are going through, my son has the same issues.

Alina - posted on 03/17/2010

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My son was diagnosed with a speech delay with developmental delay. I enrolled him in Pre-K and a speech therapist comes to his classroom once a week to work with him. I'm still working on getting his hearing checked (I switched pedi's recently). He has improved so much in a year that they think he won't need the special education class for Kindergarten. One thing I personally did that helped was, I stopped comparing my son to other kids and instead of getting stressed with him, accepted him at the level he was and encouraged him to slow down. I started really listening and found out he could speak better than I thought he could. All kids develop differently. I understand how hard it can be. I blamed myself, tried to figure out "why" but there was no why, it just was, you know? But, like I said, he's doing great now. Your son's going to improve, too. I agree with the others about getting his hearing checked as soon as you can.

Rachel - posted on 03/15/2010

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i honestly would try speech therapy also make it a game when he speak try to make it fun for him to slow down some times they talk so fast its hard to understand them also if you do speech therapy they can give u plenty of tips and advice

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does he have a hearing problem? have you taken him to a hearing specialist?

my son had a speech problem and we got him a therapist. it took a year of therapy but he can speak nicely now.

LAtu - posted on 03/13/2010

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Thank you all SOOOO much!!!! I will in deed check out all you have helped with... ASAP.. he is on a waiting list for speech therapy, something to do while waiting... THANK you for all you have suggested, I will be looking into it and getting him help asap... thanx again!!!!!

Leisel - posted on 03/13/2010

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If this is developmental then he is probably going to need some speech therapy so you need to get him assessed by one. Your doctor or school can usually give you reliable names of people to see. As has been mentioned hearing problems are a common cause of speech problems, so you also need to get that checked by your doctor, if you haven't already. Do not assume that if you had his ears checked at birth or even a year ago all is well, because childhood ear infections can change this in a matter of weeks.

As for things to try in the mean time. Drinking with a straw helps tongue and lip strength, along with straw games. Cut out pictures on pieces of paper and get him to suck them onto the end of the straw and lift them up or move them around.

Chewy foods also help, carrot sticks, cucumber etc.

Children also like to make noises (we used to do this in the car) ...brrmmming, clicking, sssssing, etc. Sing Old MacDonald and actually make a grunting noise for the pigs rather than just saying oink, and do the same for all the animals.

Good luck.

Michelle - posted on 03/13/2010

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I agree get his hearing checked, and see if you can get him into speech. In the mean time maybe find some pictures or sign language for some of the things that he needs and is having a hard time telling you.

Sarah - posted on 03/13/2010

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Call you local school. They will connect you up with AEA (Area Education Agency). They will do an evaluation on his speech amoung other things (hearing etc.). The areas he is delayed in they will set-up some therapy for, such as speech. A Speech therapist will meet with you guys at least once a week to help him and they will also teach you how to help him with his speech (there are certain ways they say words to help kids learn how to form their letters). All this is FREE!! Also if you have not already check his hearing and also check with a dentist on mouth structure. Sometimes kids can't form their words well due to weak muscles in their mouth or their mouth structure is not formed well. One thing to look at is does he have a hard time chewing with his mouth closed, does he have a hard time swallowing or eating certain kinds of foods? Another thing they may recommend if he is not already doing is putting him into a special needs preschool. This focuses more one on one with them working on things they will need to know for kindergarden. It also gets them use to a school setting, so that transition is easier for them when kindergarden comes.

Also do some researching on the internet and books. There is A LOT of information out there on speech delays and the different kinds of delays. Sometimes it can be really confussing, but I found that I have learned TONS about speech delays even if I am still confussed as to what is what. You can also look up AEA. They offer a TON of resources to families for free. They will do physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, hearing, vision, and so much more. One thing I have learned is that you have to keep pushing for help and answers. I have found that unless you push you may sit and wait for help for a long time. Those that are vocal and push for help/answers don't always get them right away, but they are more likely to get further than someone that does not push.

Kari - posted on 03/13/2010

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My son is 2 1/2 and he has a speech problem. I asked his pediatrician about it, and he referred him to Early intervention. He's been having a speech therapist come once a week for the past 6 months, and has greatly improved. I'd talk to your sons pediatrician.

Lynna - posted on 03/13/2010

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Do you live close to a university? If so check it out. It may have a speech clinic. Also, if you don't do anything else, contact your local public school system. You pay taxes so your child can benefit from the services. Ask that he be evaluated for speech. He will be evaluated. It may take a little bit because they have a time period in which they have to respond, and it's usually towards the end of the period. I hope that is helpful.

Ashley - posted on 03/13/2010

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Hello, I have a 6 yr old who had bad speech problems, there are alot of things you can do. my son has been in speech since he was 4 and it has helped alot at home. if he's enrolling next yr for school maybe go up to the school to talk to the speech teacher there and get some ideas. the other thing is get his hearing checked sometimes they arent saying it right b/c they arent hearing it right due to hearing problems. its a simple test. my brothers problem was water on the ear canal and once it was fixed his speech took off in no time. the other thing is encourage him to slow down when he talks. make games to see who can repeat the most words. hope they work good luck

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