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It is estimated that 2% of all children born each year will have a disabling condition. Many of these children will have speech and or language delays and disorders that may have a significant effect on personal, social, academic, or vocational life. Although some children will develop normal speech and language skills without treatment by the time they enter school, it is important to identify those who will not.
It is important to identify any developmental delays or disorders as early as possible so it the child can be helped with whatever problem they have. Early identification is important for a child’s well-being as the earlier the problem is identified; potentially the easier it is to help the problem. Children with any delays are helped early so that it doesn’t affect them in the future and they do not become self-conscious.
There are many reasons why a child may develop a speech language or communication problem. Having hearing difficulties/impairment can prevent them from hearing what is being said and then the child won’t hear the words properly. Having dummies past one year can cause a speech problem as the child may try to speak around the dummy and get into the habit of speaking this way. Children who don’t get the chance of much communication, this can be a case of siblings talking for them or their parents just not communicating with them enough. This can all lead to developmental delay. Mostly the cause of speech and language delay is unidentifiable. Early identification of this means the child can receive the correct help sooner which would hopefully help the problem.
Speech, language and communication problems can have a lasting effect on children’s lives. For a percentage of children the problem cannot be prevented but early intervention is vital to reduce the long term effects. Short term affects can make a child feel frustrated angry and withdrawn. Young children with speech and language impairments are more likely to suffer continued communication problems, along with cognitive, behavioural and social difficulties. This can affect their social and behavioural development as they get frustrated and angry and it can make the child lack confidence. Children with speech and language problems often become withdrawn, shy and less outgoing, and are less likely to initiate a conversation and prefer to play alone. Studies show that these children have higher rates of
Late recognition of development, can lead to problems later on in life for young person understanding or a child being able to express their own feelings, leaving them feeling angry or frustrated and causing them to act out and maybe develop behaviour problems. It can also affect their confidence and self-esteem causing problems building relationships with peers and becoming isolated for fear of being laughed at or bullied. It can cause learning delays, particularly in literacy, anxiety disorders, and a phobia of social interaction.

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