My Child Didn’t Pass Her Speech-Language Screening? HELP!
If you’re the parent of a public school kindergartner, your child might be screened for speech-language disorders this month in the classroom. This is a routine screening that happens every fall. So, what if your child doesn’t pass her screening?
Do not panic!
The results of the screening indicate that your child needs more testing or, perhaps, a full evaluation. It’s important to determine if treatment or therapy can help your child develop to her maximum potential.
An untreated developmental delay can decrease your child’s self-esteem, increase her frustration level, negatively impact your family and/or interfere with your child’s future
physical or academic success. An investment in early intervention can make all the difference to your child and to you. The most common causes of speech development delays are difficulties with hearing and vision. It is important that a child’s hearing and vision be within normal limits for speech and language to occur naturally. Nine out of ten children (90 percent) will experience ear infections (otitis media) that cause temporary hearing impairment, but only three of them (33 percent) will be diagnosed. Recognizing hearing loss from otitis media can help prevent a delay in your child’s development.
Even a mild hearing loss can make a difference in your child’s success with speech and language. If a child is diagnosed with a hearing disorder before six months of age, normal development can still occur with early intervention.
Out of the thousands of children who do not pass speech-language screenings, ten percent will demonstrate a mild delay and then out-grow it, but approximately ten percent of the children will qualify for speech and language services in the area of articulation, phonological disorders, expressive language delay, receptive language delay, voice disorders, fluency disorders, oral motor disorders and dysphagia. If you want to be more familiar with these disorders, I highly recommend a family friendly web site: www.home-speech-home.com that will give you examples, answer questions and give you ideas of what to expect. Please look at this as an opportunity to give your child the best start in life and not as a personal insult to you or your child.
– Kathy Gruhn, MA CCC-SLP, author of My Baby Compass series