Every parent wants their child to talk. Talking is a way our society communicates. Our communities perceive talking as a way of making our needs and desires known and/or met, sharing our ideas, making and maintaining friendships and relationships, negotiating, arguing, protesting, clarifying, apologising and expressing our emotions. For many people, talking is like breathing – it is seen to be an essential part of being human.
The challenges arise when children do not develop talking in the same way as their parents and communities expect them to develop. People perceive that if you do not talk, then you do not communicate, and often put unnecessary pressure on children to talk when they are not ready to talk or if talking is not their preferred way of communicating.
At My Therapy HouseⓇ, we help parents understand why their child may not be talking in that moment. It may be because they are not developmentally ready to talk and they need to work on more foundation skills such as shared attention, engagement, listening, being able to stay in a reciprocal interaction. It may be because they have no space to talk – they may be asked too many questions they cannot answer or their siblings may talk for them. They may feel worried about talking because they feel the way they talk is always corrected or judged. They may not be able to mechanically coordinate their mouth muscles to make the sounds to talk. While we always facilitate talking, we also work on holistic communication using the child’s natural and most efficient and effective way of communicating and expressing who they are to the people around them. We work on self-esteem, confidence, having ideas, communication using Augmentative Communication systems to take the pressure off talking and instead, help the child feel like they are a competent communicator. A crucial part of our work is working with the parents to help them understand child development and where their child is at in this journey, as well as how and when talking occurs.
If you have concerns about your child’s talking and you would like information on how to best support them, please contact us for a consultation.