Why identifying speech & communication problems in children early is critical
Early intervention and diagnosis plays an important role in the development of a child. Nowadays, parents are aware of the importance of providing therapies and special education to their disabled child. They must also keep a look out and read the signs of speech and communication problems in their children at a very young age itself.
Communication is a very essential part of a child. It helps them to have a better quality of life and also helps them to express better. So the more their communication skills, the better their quality of life will be.
There can be various reasons for a delay in the communication skills of a child. It can be due to a hearing disability, learning or mental disability or some sort of developmental disorder. In India, there are too many myths about the right age for children to start speaking. Like for instance, there is a common myth that boys take a longer time to start speaking. A healthy child will start to communicate when they are two years of age. If the parent notices something unlikely, they must make sure that the child is diagnosed.
Subhashini Rao of Sankalp Special School in Chennai, is emphatic about the importance of identifying problems in speech and communication skills at a young age.
The importance of identifying signs of speech and communication problems in your child is very important. In fact, parents in Tamil Nadu are much more aware of the importance of early intervention programmes like these. They are reading about such things and becoming more aware as well. We did an early intervention programme in our school. In six months, we identified 14 children with different kinds of disabilities. Children must communicate according to their age. Only parents can identify that and help them if required. If you find a speech disorder in your child, you can also take them to a language pathologist. Some children have vernacular problems when their parents speak two different languages. This also needs attention. –Subhashini Rao, Co-founder, Sankalp Special School
The earlier it is diagnosed, the better children can perform in life, says Himabindu M Ghattu, co-founder,Abhilasha Research Centre for Children with Special Needs> in Hyderabad.
“I feel that awareness about early intervention on communication and speech is much lesser amongst parents in Telengana and Andhra Pradesh. There are some children who can comprehend but cannot communicate. This makes it even more difficult for parents. In fact, paediatricians are the ones who must refer such children for early intervention programmes because parents consult them first when they identify that their child has a problem”, says Ghattu.
Unlike earlier days, children with disabilities today have a lot of options for therapies where they will be introduced to many new things that help them to develop their life skills, so the best approach is to be alert and open minded to any signs that your child may ened help.