09 Jun Combatting the Social Stigma of Speech Therapy
Because of the social stigma attached to speech disorders, many children with language disorders have a difficult time making friends. In fact, about 50% of children with developmental language disorders also have emotional, behavioral, or social difficulties if not a combination of all of them. Many are teased by classmates and misunderstood by adults who may not be able to understand everything they say. These are all reasons why a parent or guardian should consider children’s speech therapy as an option.
The most common speech disorders that affect children include articulation disorders, language disorders, and stuttering. Articulation disorders occur when a child has difficulty pronouncing certain sounds. Language disorders happen when a child may be able to understand the words spoken to them but cannot formulate proper sentences or vise versa. Stuttering is when involuntary repetitions disrupt the flow of speech.
When a child suffers from any of these disorders, it can make if difficult to understand what the child is saying. Other children are likely to notice that this child speaks differently and suspect that the child is either unintelligent or has special needs. This means that children who suffer from speech disorders are more likely to be mocked and excluded from social activities by their peers.
Also for some children (especially older children), being called out of class to go to speech therapy makes his/her speech disorder the focus of attention even for a brief moment. What’s worse, children who visit a speech therapist at school may be resented by their peers if they think they are getting special privileges. It may not seem fair to them that Johnny gets to go to speech therapy while everyone else has to go to math class.
If you have an older child who is being teased because he/she needs speech therapy, one solution may be to separate speech therapy from school life by scheduling time with a private therapist after school. Going through the school day without having their speech disorder focused on at school may relieve the anxiety of having a speech disorder at school especially if your child is a teenager.
If you feel separating speech therapy from your child’s school life could benefit your child, give us a call for more speech therapy information at (662) 282-4949. We’ll schedule you an after school children’s speech therapy appointment with our speech therapist.