Friday, 20 October 2017

My child talks well, why does he need a speech and language therapist?

(Guest blogpost)

It’s not about the talking, it’s about the social interaction.

My son is 10, he has the vocabulary and speech an adult would be happy with but (and I can hear you waiting for it), but he struggles to communicate.

Hmmmm, that’s almost like a double negative, he can talk but he can’t communicate, what the heck does she mean?

My son struggles with social skills, he can’t tell people how he feels, he misses social cues, he wants to play with other children, but can't find the way in, he can’t communicate.

He wants to join in the games but can’t ask to be let in, so he gets too excited and ruins the game not maliciously but because he struggles to read the group, he can’t interact.

Worse still my strapping 10-year-old is a prime target for bullies. He lacks the social skills to stand up for himself, he has no idea how to be assertive, how to say no, or even how to go to another person and tell them how he feels or that he is hurt or scared.

Despite having a beautiful grasp of the spoken word and sounds totally confident, he has no knowledge of the art of communication.  The subtle nuances of facial expressions and voice inflections.

This is a social world, full of people, of all different kinds, some friendly, some not, and what my son needs to cope, no thrive in this world, is speech therapy, because what my son needs to learn is, ironically enough is small talk….the art of getting on with people.

A K Turner parent  

1 comment:

  1. This parent has explained very well the difficulties her child has with communication and the confusion that can arise when his therapy has the word 'speech' in it even though speech isn't his problem. There's no doubt, the fundamental role for most speech/language therapists is to assist communication. Our role is often misunderstood, partly because of our name, so it certainly helps when parents like this lets others know what we actually do.