The prevalence rate of children with speech and language disorders is 7-12%. This is children without other developmental disorders or learning difficulties. 2 of 30 children experience a language disorder severe enough to affect academics entering Kindergarten.
Do those children impacted by a speech and language disorder consider their well-being to be affected?
One thing to consider is children often think of their well-being as defined by their relationships with family, friends, and pets. Children with speech and language disorders find their well-being is being impacted for the following reasons:
Children will often present with a positive outlook by focusing on strengths versus deficits. As parents, we must remember to foster these positive thoughts by considering the following:
Encourage through hope. Talk about where a child is at currently and where they want to be.
Allow a sense of agency. Allow a child to make choices and influence the days decisions. A child should have some control over their own environment.
Help a child create friendships. Host playdates and other moments for positive interactions with peers. Creating positive relationships can soften negative experiences and strengthen well-being and resiliency. Perceptions of being valued are important to a child’s sense of well-being.
Allow a child to share stories. Create time in the day to sit down and listen. A child will express their emotions and won’t feel isolated if they have a listening ear to share about the day or the past. You may even gain insights into any hopes (goals) or fears (conflicts, barriers) during your time together.
WRITTEN BY ANGIE REEDER, SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST AND DIRECTOR WITH WILDFLOWERS