About Paediatric Speech Pathology
Paediatric speech pathology can be very helpful and can improve a child’s ability to speak clearly, read and write. It is not yet entirely known with certainty how children develop the ability to speak, but it is known by global anecdotal evidence if not empirically, that almost all children acquire the skill without extensive, dedicated education on the part of parents. They just seem to start talking. Sure, the beginning of language for all of us begins with unintelligible sounds adults universally find “cute,” but once begun with a first literate word, the ability of the child to begin an array of spoken vocabulary is, at first, mere repetition of sound without understanding, but understanding does ultimately begin. Following that, the arrangement of words in a string with proper syntax is mostly enabled without the parent teaching a single lesson in grammar or pronunciation. The child just knows – usually.
About how speech pathology can help children
If a child shows developmental delays in proper verbal communication, speech pathology can help. Although there are several causes of speech development problems which have their origin in either language comprehension or language expression disorders, speech pathology is typically only helpful with development of expression skills, that is, how to formulate speech by proper use of the three anatomical contributors to speech: lungs, the vocal folds (or vocal chords; and the group of muscles surrounding the folds which, with the folds are colloquially called “the voice box”) and the collection of parts comprising the oral cavity (tongue, cheeks, palate, teeth and lips). Of these, typically it is in the area of the latter, the oral cavity components, for which therapy teaches proper speech. It is a direct correlation between the brain, where language development and comprehension occurs, and the use of the oral cavity where comprehension is converted to speech.
It was determined that if children’s comprehension of language was adequately resolved, speech pathology could then educate the proper distinctions of pronunciation, particularly where similar position and use of the oral components might actually create different sounds. For example, all speech is produced by two methods: voiced and unvoiced sounds. All vowels (in English) are voiced, meaning that the vocal folds vibrate during speech. Consonants may be voiced or unvoiced; the latter meaning that vocal folds are at rest during speech. Many consonants share the identical position of oral components, such “B” and “P” or “F” and “V.” Their only distinction is being voiced or unvoiced. These distinctions can be taught through speech pathology.
If you have questions or concerns about how speech pathology can help children contact your local doctor, who will arrange for you to see a speech pathologist. We‘ll provide you with a straightforward, efficient and very effective treatment plan targeted to your concerns.