3 Habits Or Conditions That Could Make Pediatric Speech Therapy Necessary

If you have a small child, you may be concerned that his or her speech is not developing properly. Some children have problems forming certain sounds, such as /s/ or /th/. As a result, they may need pediatric speech therapy. Still, there are medical conditions and childhood habits that can contribute to the need for speech therapy. Here are a few of them:

Thumb Sucking

As a child sucks his or her thumb, pressure is placed on the roof of the upper palate. In addition, the thumb forces the front teeth forward. This can lead to problems with pronunciation, since the teeth may not present a proper barrier for the tongue as words are formed.

Thumb sucking can be discouraged by giving your child something such as a small toy to occupy his or her hands. In addition, offering your child chewing gum or a healthy snack can keep the youngster's mouth full enough to eliminate sucking the thumb as an option during that period.

Even after the thumb-sucking habit has been averted, issues with speech may continue to linger, adjustments may need to be made to the child's teeth using braces or other orthodontic appliances.

Cleft Palate or Lip

If a child is born with a cleft palate or lip, he or she may have speech difficulties due to the improper fusion of the tissues. Surgical corrections can be performed to help close the palate and lip. However, if these corrections are not made before your child starts to form words, a speech problem may ensue.

Unscheduled Loss of Teeth

As your child's teeth begin to shed, adult teeth usually erupt within a short period in their place. However, if a child loses a tooth due to dental decay or mouth trauma, there may be a prolonged period before the emergence of the permanent tooth. In such a case, your child may be without a one or more teeth that are needed to properly form his or her words. As a result, your child may compensate for the missing tooth or teeth by adjusting the way that he or she speaks and may eventually require speech therapy.

Hearing Problems

Auditory problems can also cause a problem with proper speech. If your child has had a hearing issue that has already been corrected, he or she may still have problems with speech due to the inability to hear words clearly for a period.

If you suspect that your child may need pediatric speech therapy, schedule an appointment for a speech assessment at establishments like Achieve Center.