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Speech therapy for children: treating speech disorders with a speech therapist

Which language disorders are most common in children?

Most children suffer from an articulation disorder. This means that they cannot form some sounds and therefore leave them out or replace them with other sounds.

Language problems can be a huge burden for children. Speech therapy for children is therefore extremely important in order to avoid the social consequences of a language acquisition disorder. The earlier speech therapy begins, the better the chances of success.

In this article, we will explain to you how you can recognize language disorders, when a visit to a speech therapist is necessary and how he or she proceeds exactly.

Table of Contents

1. Most children suffer from articulation disorders

Whether reading and spelling weaknesses, dyslexia or language disorders - In Germany, quite a few children are affected by a disruption in the acquisition of the written language or the spoken language. Genetic aspects, motor disorders or intellectual disabilities can be considered as the cause. In In rare cases, the speech disorders are triggered by aphasia (damage to certain areas of the brain).

Children's linguistic development goes through various phases. There may be a delay or even disruption in any of these phases. While some children have problems with grammar, other kindergarten children find it difficult to make certain sounds. The areas in which children have speech or language problems can be very different.

The most common language disorders among children are:

Most children suffer from an articulation disorder. According to the German Association for Speech Therapy, around 13.5% of children have articulation disorders. This means that they cannot form and pronounce sounds correctly. Often they leave out these sounds or replace them with others. For example, this is what the child says Pillar instead of school or Tamm instead of Comb.

If the abnormalities only occur in a partial area, the doctor can get to the bottom of the cause better. For some children, however, the problems appear in not just one area but in several areas. In this case, diagnosis is a little more difficult.


2. Language support helps in some cases

In many cases In the course of language development, parents notice that their child has certain deficits. Sometimes, however, it is also the pediatrician who draws the parents' attention to the abnormalities.

As soon as you as a parent realize that your child is not yet able to speak as well as other peers, you should see your pediatrician for advice. Because the earlier speech disorders are treated, the greater the likelihood that the therapy will be successful. Language is a very important means of communicating in our society. Achieving this ability is therefore a top priority.

In some cases, simple language training is enough to advance the child's language development. This is often the case when children receive little attention or are learning German not as their mother tongue but as a second language. Parents can help by repeatedly motivating their children to speak. Corresponding language support programs are also offered in kindergarten.

On the other hand, children who have real language disorders need professional help from a speech therapist.

Signs of impaired language development are the following:

  • Absence of the babbling phase
  • impaired hearing
  • motor disorders in the face and mouth area
  • delayed progress in language development
  • Services do not correspond to the everyday norm

By the age of two, children should have a vocabulary of around 50 words. They should also be able to form the first two-word sentences.


3. Treat speech disorders - these speech exercises are used

If you notice abnormalities in your child's language development, you should first see your pediatrician. They may refer your child to one after a thorough examination Specialist or a practice for speech therapy.

Speech therapy for children mostly takes place in individual sessions. Therapies rarely take place in small groups. The treatment is always adapted to the age and level of development of the child. In a first session, the speech therapist gets an idea of ​​the child's level of linguistic development. Various test procedures are used for this.

When it comes to speech therapy for children all contents of the therapy are conveyed in a playful way. With the help of small games and simple tasks, children learn to pronounce and differentiate sounds, for example.

Various speech exercises are used to treat the speech disorders. If weak tongue muscles are responsible for the language problems, tongue exercises that aim to strengthen the corresponding muscles can help.

Also the Parents play an important role in speech therapy. They are mostly included in the therapy so that they be able to practice what they have learned at home with the help of games and exercise sheets.

4. Common questions and answers

Kassel stuttering therapy
The Kassel stuttering therapy is a popular concept to achieve more fluent speech. Children learn a new way of speaking that they can use to control their speech. Speech exercises, relaxation techniques and sound and video analyzes are used.
At what age can treatment be started?

When to start speech therapy depends on the type of speech disorder. If language problems are noticeable in children very early, it makes sense to use speech therapy for small children. In principle, children can start therapy with a speech therapist from around the age of three.

Are the costs for speech therapy covered by health insurance?

Speech therapy for children is a so-called remedy and is therefore part of basic medical care. Up to the age of 18, the costs for the therapy are covered by the health insurance. If adults make use of speech therapy, an additional payment must be made.

How long does a speech therapy treatment take on average?

A therapy unit lasts around 30 to 60 minutes and takes place once or twice a week. An initial interview is about assessing and evaluating the language deficits. The speech therapist then decides how many sessions will be necessary. According to the Medicines Directive, 30 sessions are provided for articulation disorders and up to 60 sessions for speech development disorders.

5. Further reading on language disorders in children

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Speech therapy for children: treating speech disorders with a speech therapist
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