Communicating with a child is one of the most pleasurable and rewarding experiences for both parent and child. Children learn by absorbing information through daily interactions and experiences with other kids, adults, and the world.
As kids enter their school years, they become increasingly independent, spending much of their days outside the home in school and with peers. Talking with your child is essential to bonding, so share ideas, opinions, and information.
Here are a few suggestions to aid communication:
As kids progress in school, their comprehension and use of language will become more sophisticated. Usually, kids will understand more vocabulary words and concepts than they may be able to express. Your child should be able to engage in narrative discourse and share ideas and opinions in clear speech.
You should have ongoing communication with your child's teacher about overall language skills and progress. Children with language comprehension and usage problems are at risk for increased academic difficulties.
A child who has a specific communication difficulty, such as persistent stuttering or a lisp, should be referred to the school speech-language pathologist (an expert who evaluates and treats speech and language disorders). You should routinely communicate with the therapist regarding the therapy goals, language activities to practice at home, and your child's progress.
If your child's teacher suspects a language-based learning disability, comprehensive testing will be necessary. This can include a hearing test, psychoeducational assessment (standardized testing to evaluate your child's learning style as well as cognitive processes), and speech-language evaluation.
Problems in communication skills may include:
Medical professionals, such as speech pathologists, therapists, and your doctor, can help your child overcome communication problems.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: October 2011
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