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Speech underdevelopment of children: when to begin to practice with a speech therapist, preschoolers

The first time I was worried about the speech development of my younger son Andryusha, when he was about a year old. My eldest son Seryozha at this age was already beginning to speak, and nothing could be heard from Andrei, apart from individual sounds, and these sounds were very few.

I read a lot of books on parenting and knew that you need to talk a lot with small children, not to lisp with them, call all objects and phenomena to them. And then they start to talk early, and immediately speak pretty clean. In the case of the eldest son, it was so. I began to think why Andrei could not speak, and what I was doing wrong.

I went to the doctors

I went to the doctors. Neuropathologist, psychologist, dentist, speech therapist. No one could tell me anything, but the child remained silent.

I tried to go with Andrew to developing classes. But Andrei had absolutely nothing to do there. After all, the children around him talked, talked, talked about squirrels and bunnies in class, called colors, forms, read poetry at matinees.

What was he doing there? He began to write from nervous tension, sat alone in a corner and bit his nails. We stopped going to classes.

The situation gradually became critical. The speech therapist in the kindergarten where the classes were held was a good specialist, as I was told. But she didn’t take on children under 5 years old, since she didn’t know how to teach completely un-speaking children, she could only correct individual sounds.

I was lucky: it turned out that in our city there is a speech therapist who deals with very young children. Moreover, they said that she works wonders and her children begin to speak on whom everyone has already given up. I had just such a case.

Psychologists about Andrei said that he was completely untrained, neuropathologists gave him various diagnoses, such as autism, speech therapists refused, and so on.

In general, Andryusha and I needed a very good speech therapist. When we first came to class, I was very surprised several times.

Specialist found, and classes began

The first thing they asked me was: Why didn’t the child cut the hyoid ligament while still in the hospital? It turned out that she had it shortened. It had to be cut as soon as he was born. Maybe then there would be no problem. Nobody said anything to me at the maternity hospital. No problems found and the dentist who examined the child at the age of six months.

The second question also stunned me: Why did you come to me so late? The child was 3 years old. And I was convinced that it is too early to work with a speech therapist. Several speech therapists assured me that it’s useless before 5 years. And then it’s late. To know before!

I was indignant at the incompetence of our doctors. So what to do? It was necessary to correct their mistakes. And we started to do it. It took about a year to stretch this ligament with the help of various special exercises and devices.

Moreover, it was also necessary to do a massage of the lips, cheeks, tongue – the entire mouth. Because of this shortened ligament, everything in the child’s mouth was sluggish, so he didn’t get any sounds.

After a year of hard work, he was able to finally say his mother (he was 4 years old). Well, and then it went. Now outsiders cannot see any signs of his speech lag. Retelling is difficult for him, but otherwise everything is good: he reads, he writes, he thinks he studies normally (he finished grade 2).

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