A Beginner's Guide About Speech Therapy for CP Kids
Cerebral palsy is a neurological problem that affects muscle movement and coordination. Reports state that the prevalence of CP is higher for children born preterm or at low birthweight.
If a child has cerebral palsy, you may be wondering if speech therapy is a good option for them. It is a common question, and the answer depends on the individual child's needs.
This article will discuss speech therapy and how it can help children with cerebral palsy. It will provide some tips for parents considering this type of therapy for their children.
What Is Speech Therapy?It helps children with communication disorders. It can include problems with speaking, listening, and writing. It can also help with social skills. Speech therapists often work with children who have cerebral palsy (CP).
What Are The Things Involved In Speech Therapy?The primary goal of the therapy is to help your child communicate. Some of the treatment methods include:
1. Social Skills TrainingCerebral palsy can make it hard for kids to interact with others. That's why some speech therapists also help kids with social skills, such as:
- making eye contact
- understanding body language
- taking turns in conversation
- joining in on group activities
This training can happen in one-on-one sessions or in a group, depending on your child's needs.
2. Speech ExercisesWhen your kid is born, the first thing that they learn is how to cry. It is their way of communicating with you and letting you know that they are hungry or need a diaper change.
However, as your child grows older, they will start to make cooing noises and eventually start talking. By the time they are one year old, most babies can say a few words like “mama” or “dada.”
If your child has CP, they may not reach these milestones as quickly as other babies. That’s why therapy is so crucial for kids with CP.
Speech exercises will involve:
- Have your child practice making different sounds
- Helping them to learn how to move their tongue, lips, and jaw to make certain sounds
- Teaching them how to put words together to form sentences
- Encouraging them to use gestures along with their words
- Helping them to understand and follow simple directions
3. Language TherapyLearning a language is a complex process that is different for every individual. For children with CP, therapy may develop receptive language skills (understanding what others say) and expressive language skills (using words and sentences to communicate).
A therapist will include language therapy sessions in the following methods:
Modeling and imitation
Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
4. Oral Motor Skills TrainingOral motor skills are the mouth muscles needed for eating and drinking. Feeding and swallowing difficulties are common in children with CP. A speech therapist can help your child learn new ways to eat and drink.
Benefits Of Speech Therapy For Cerebral Palsy
1. Improved CommunicationCommunication is essential for quality of life. It allows us to interact with others, express our needs and wants, and build relationships.
Speech therapy can help improve a child's ability to communicate by teaching them how to produce sounds correctly, improving their articulation skills, and helping them develop alternative ways to communicate if they are unable to speak.
2. Increased Ability To Express OneselfExpression of oneself is an essential part of life. It allows you to share your thoughts and feelings with others. For children with CP, therapy can help them find alternative ways to express themselves. It includes the use of sign language or other forms of communication.
ConclusionCerebral palsy can make your child feel isolated and left out. Speech therapy can help your child feel more confident and included. In addition to building self-confidence, speech therapy can also help your child develop a greater sense of self-esteem. It is because therapy can help your child improve their communication skills. When your child can communicate better, they will feel more valued and appreciated.
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