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Clarity of speech: When to Seek Help and What’s Normal

One in twelve kids has a speech issue of some kind, which can result in slurred, confused, or broken speech. Even without a speech impairment, it’s typical for kids to communicate in ways that are challenging to understand.

Do you frequently have trouble understanding or understanding yourself when you speak? Or do you communicate in a way that the listener finds challenging to understand? You might then require speech-language therapy. Even though it might not be directly related to a speech impairment, having slurred speech can have an impact on how you communicate with other people.

It could cause you to draw unwanted attention in social situations, damage your self-esteem, or leave you feeling lonely. Thankfully, there are techniques you may do to increase the clarity of speech and your level of confidence. There are actions you may take toward better speaking whether or not your child has a speech impairment.

Here are three suggestions to encourage your kids to communicate properly and confidently.

  1. Using a mirror:  

One of the first techniques for enhancing your speaking clarity is using a mirror. Therefore, if you experience stuttering, practise speaking words that might be the source of your stuttering in front of a mirror. While you’re doing it, pay close attention to how your lips move as you say various words and use the same technique when conducting a regular conversation.

  1. Clarity-boosting Speech Exercises:  

Young children’s confused speech is typically caused by consonants in the wrong places and no consonants in the right places.

Let’s examine some suggestions for addressing each problem.

Consonants in Unwanted Places

Young children frequently swap out a word’s first letter, which can make what they’re saying murky and illegible. For instance, some kids will say “door” instead of “poor.” Or they can pronounce “kick” as “bick” instead.

This is because numerous consonant sounds employ the same mouth movement. The way we alter the sound solely involves our tongue and throat muscles.

The distinctions between the sounds are often hazy when children are first learning to speak, making it simple for the sounds to be confused.

When your kids mix up words, try asking them to say them in a softer voice or even in a whisper. The vocal cords’ sensation is altered, making it simpler for them to recognise the sound that corresponds to a certain word.

There are no vowels where they should be.

A similar problem to the one mentioned above also exists: young children have a propensity to omit word ending consonants. Therefore, a child may intend to say “Dad,” but instead say “da.”

And “da” can mean a variety of things. You would only be able to understand what they mean by asking them further questions or using the context. By age 2, this normally stops, although some conditions can cause it to continue.

Have your youngster practise saying complete words with consonants to help them sound clearer. “Mom,” “Dad,” “sock,” “bed,” “meal,” etc. Encourage them to emphasise the final notes as well so they can develop the proper technique.

  1. Help them to Speak More Slowly  

Children can think and perceive things much more quickly than they can speak. They may speak excessively quickly as a result, which makes it challenging (or impossible) to grasp what they are saying.

Your child should be encouraged to talk slowly. Really let them know you’re paying attention, too. When children think that the person they are speaking to isn’t paying close attention, they may want to speak more quickly.

If you observe that your child continues to talk quickly as they get older, keep an eye on it because fast-talking can be a speech issue in and of itself.

  1. Inhale deeply.  

Speaking and producing a louder voice depend on breathing. If you don’t have it, you can have shaky pitch, a breathy voice, vocal fatigue, and tension in your vocal mechanism, which will make your speech sound more muddled. As a result, you should practise breathing exercises frequently to improve the clarity of your speech.

  1. Different accent:  

It may be challenging for others to understand you if you have an accent. Accents are not inherently problematic. In actuality, depending on who is listening, everyone has one. But when combined with a soft voice and/or rapid speech, a strong accent can cause confusion and even annoyance. Speech Clarity frequently gets dramatically better by learning to strengthen a few carefully chosen language abilities. But first, check to see if you’re speaking softly and effectively projecting. It’s possible that’s all that’s needed.

  1. Take a good stance.  

Your voice clarity and your musculoskeletal system will both be impacted by poor posture. For instance, if you shrug your shoulders, your neck will be incredibly tense and you can find it difficult to breathe. Your speech may be impacted by this. So, to reduce neck strain and enhance your speech, sit or stand straight.

  1. Consult a speech therapist.  

Your Speech Delay In Children could also be brought on by a variety of other conditions, including speech abnormalities, muscle problems, developmental concerns, etc. You might also be observing other things, such as sound replacements or even graver issues like apraxia.

You should send your child to a speech therapist if you find these issues getting worse or not improving by the time they are two. They will be able to comprehend all that is being said in full and assist them in making their communication more understandable.

Read a detailed blog on Public Speaking Skills

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