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
|FRIENDS: The Association of Young People Who Stutter FRIENDS is a national organization that provides a supportive network for children and teens. It offers bimonthly digest, books, posters, and an annual convention. Call: (866) 866-8335|
|American Speech-Language-Hearing Association This group provides services for professionals in audiology, speech-language pathology, and speech and hearing science, and advocates for people with communication disabilities.|
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|Talking About Your Feelings Just talking about your feelings can make you feel better.|
|Medical Care and Your 6- to 12-Year-Old Regular well-child exams are essential to keep kids healthy and up-to-date with immunizations. Find out what to expect at the doctor's office.|
|Speech-Language Therapy Working with a certified speech-language pathologist can help a child with speech or language difficulties.|
|Hearing Evaluation in Children Hearing problems can be treated if they're caught early, so it's important to get your child's hearing screened early and evaluated regularly.|
|Growth and Your 6- to 12-Year-Old As kids grow from grade-schoolers to preteens, there continues to be a wide range of "normal" as far as height, weight, and shape.|
|Stuttering Many young kids go through a stage when they stutter. Stuttering usually goes away on its own but in some cases lasts longer.|
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