My 6 year old daughter, Zoe, can’t speak. Sure, she has a few words and can occasionally say short sentences, but she is unable to talk like most kids her age. Over the years, we’ve learned ZoeSpeak, and she has learned more skills to help her communicate. I thought I’d share some tips with you on how to treat and communicate with children who have difficulty speaking.
Defining a Speech Disability
Speech disabilities can be caused by a number of issues, such as hearing loss or difficulty processing sounds into speech. In this article, though, I’m referring to disorders where children cannot easily or clearly verbalize their needs, desires, and opinions at an age-appropriate level or are completely speechless. The causes and solutions to these are so diverse, that to go over even a handful would take an entire paper! Rather than give you an exhaustive list of disorders, I’m going to focus on helpful tips for communication.
Speaking to and understanding non-verbal children is a challenge, but it will pay off in a big way when that child jumps for joy because you understood her. Pretty soon, you’ll have made a new friend, and helped another person enjoy her life just a little more, and that’s worth all the effort in the world.
Raising kids with special needs, maybe a little more time consuming, but I will be the first to tell you the are so special. They find ways into your heart and they don't ever let go. From a mom who has a child with a critical illness. I hope many people take the time to read what you wrote and take it to heart just to slow down and understand these children no matter what problem they may have.
Great article! I'm a preschool teacher. I have worked with several special needs children over the years. I agree that being clear in speech is a must! Also, having visuals is a very valuable resource.
What a great article from the heart! I have worked with children with disabilities for almost 10 years. I think it is great to mention that communication comes in many different forms. Just because a child does not verbalize does not mean they cannot commuicate. Contact a local speech therapist or developmental specialist for ideas!
Thank you! I've learned a lot from people with autism and sensory issues, and from specialists and from my own kid. I know I am NOT clear sometimes, but this drives me to improve.
Great article! You've really opened your mind to other ways of thinking and being creative when it comes to communicating. 3. was my favourite point, as it's what I struggle with the most. People think I'm joking when I don't get their jokes, or make general statements that take me forever to figure out how it applies, etc. You have great insight!