Speech training

How can I help my child improve their speech?

Additional questions commonly asked by many parents of a child with a hearing impairment include: "Will my child ever be able talk to me?” and "How will I talk to my child?” Speech ability depends on the level of your child’s hearing as well as the use of technological aids. Many children with hearing loss develop good speech and language when given the appropriate support and training. The sooner your child is exposed to speech and language, the better.

How to improve speech

There are many ways that communication can happen: orally, with gestures or with sign language. Current communication methods may use one, some or all of these. The following list of suggestions can help in communicating with your child.

  • Help your child to watch the speaker even if listening is not difficult. It is good to get in the habit of paying attention
  • Teach your child not to interrupt the speaker before he/she finishes a sentence. Your child may not understand the beginning, but may catch the end
  • Instruct your child to let the speaker know when he/she missed something, and to ask for it to be repeated if he/she did not understand
  • Help your child to learn to summarize what he/she did hear so that the communication partner knows what to fill in
  • If your child does not appear to understand what is being said, rephrase the statement rather than simply repeating the misunderstood words
  • Present the topic of conversation (For example, "We are talking about ...") and let your child know when the topic has changed
  • Help your child know that they may feel more fatigue after classes since they must work much harder to keep up with the information presented
  • Encourage your child to keep his/her sense of humor
  • Speak clearly and slowly at a distance of between 3 and 6 feet, or use an FM system.
  • Stand in clear light facing your child for greater visibility of lip movements, facial expressions and gestures. Remember the rule, "If he/she can't see me, then he/she can't hear me
  • Reduce or move away from background noise. If your child wears hearing instruments with directional microphones, position background noise to be behind your child so him or her faces whatever or whomever they are listening to
  • Do not over-articulate. Exaggerating your mouth movement distorts the sounds of speech and your face, making the use of visual clues more difficult
  • Captioning can help when watching television or a film
  • Talk about what you are doing and describe what you see
  • Enjoy playing and singing with your child
  • Read stories together and describe the pictures
  • Be positive with your child’s communication ability and provide plenty of praise
  • Above all, enjoy communicating together!