SPEECH EXCUSES AND THEIR IMPACTS
We need to be careful about making excuses… What are excuses?
We hear a number of excuses as to why children may be making speech errors, be a late talker, leaving words out of their sentences or not following instructions. The excuse that we hear the most frequently is that children are lazy. Firstly, children are not lazy!
Other common excuses that we hear are:
•“My child just doesn’t listen” – Sometimes the interest of the TV is far more interesting than what you’ve asked them to do and they may choose not to do as you’ve asked, but quite often the child has difficulty understanding, or remembering what they’ve been told.
•“His father didn’t talk until he was 3 and he’s fine now”- This actually makes it more likely that your child won’t grow out of their delays, as a family history can indicate there’s a genetic component. Even when children do start talking at 3, they are rarely at the same level as their 3 year old peers.
•“Her older sister talks for her” – Yes, sometimes siblings are very helpful! But this can also hinder your child’s development. Sometimes the older sibling is helping so much because the younger child doesn’t have the ability to speak up for themselves.
•“My child is copying another child who has speech delays”- I’d like to offer a challenge! The next time you talk, swap every ‘v’ sound with a ‘b’, every ‘s’ sound with a ‘sh’ and every ‘k’ sound with a ‘t’. You will find how incredibly hard this is to do, and you will most likely miss a few! Young children do not have the cognitive ability to put this much planning and thinking into how they are going to speak. Our speech sounds are also fully automatic, so it’s very hard to override this for more than a couple of words.
How do my excuses impact my child?
By making excuses we’re not acknowledging the child needs help. If we acknowledge their difficulties, we can help them! Research shows that early intervention helps develop the best outcomes for the child, and the sooner a child access support, the quicker their progress will be, the less they have to ‘catch up’ on and certainly less coming from your wallet.
By making excuses, we are not taking advantage of early intervention to maximise the child’s full potential. We risk the child reaching school with delayed communication skills, which has a snowball effect of impacting their learning, friendships and confidence.
What’s the bottom line?
The bottom line is that it is important we don’t make excuses for our children! Instead, recognise their difficulties, and seek some support. Give us a call at Talk Time to see how we can help, even if you’re unsure if your child needs help.