"How do I know if my child needs help?"

Thousands, if not millions, of parents ask themselves this question every day of the week. On the one hand, parents worry about over-reacting or labeling their child as a "special needs" student, when there may be nothing wrong. On the other hand, if there is a problem it is clearly in the child's best interest to intervene as early as possible.

The purpose of the questions listed below is to provide some guidance to parents and teachers as they look at a child and wonder if some form of therapy is needed. Only a proper evaluation by a team of child development specialists can confirm if the child requires a course of therapy. If you find that the answer is often "yes" to the questions below, please contact the Macau Child Development Association or your local health care and child development professionals about arranging an evaluation. Don't panic, but act quickly.

A child may require speech therapy based on the answers to the questions listed below:

(1) Does the child have speech difficulties caused by cleft lips and/ or cleft palates such as incorrect production of speech sounds and hypernasality (as if the child is talking through their nose)?

(2) Does the child have difficulty producing speech sound(s) correctly and clearly? Examples of difficulties: "Rabbit" sounds like "Wabbit", "Car" sounds like "Tar", "Fish" sounds like "Bish", or "Sleep" sounds like "Sip"

(3) Does the child have problems with expressive language skills? (examples below)
  • Poor expressive language skills, often use non-specific words, for example, “that thing”
  • Lack of vocabulary and use simple sentences (examples below)
  • Uses only single words at the age of 2-3 years
  • uses only 2-3 word sentences at the age of 3-4 years such as “drink milk”, “I eat”
(4) Is the following an accurate description of the child’s comprehension language skills?
  • Unable to follow instructions given by parents / teachers
  • Unable to follow simple instructions
(5) Does the child have the following voice problems?
  • A persistent hoarse, husky and harsh voice
  • Abnormal nasality
  • Hypernasality (as if the student is talking through their nose)
  • Hyponaslity ( as if the student is having a cold when talking )
  • Lack of prosody – (talking without intonations and therefore sounds robotic)
(6) Does the child have problems with stuttering?
  • Multiple repetitions of syllables (e.g. “da-da-da-daddy”) or words (e.g. “the-the-the baby is hungry”) when speaking
  • Has difficulty in getting the word out. The child looks as if s/he is “stuck”
  • Has secondary behaviors such as excessive eye blinking and tenseness in the facial neck muscles
(7) Does the child show any behavior problem with talking? (examples listed below)
  • Poor attention
  • Lack of Eye Contact
  • Lack of Social Skills Scream, cry, or laugh for no apparent reasons
(8) Does the child demonstrate general communication problems? Such as:
  • Does not respond to communication
  • Does not initiate communication
(9) Does your child in pre-school demonstrate problems in any of the following areas?
  • Has difficulties remembering names of objects that have already been learned
  • Has difficulties using complete sentences to express ideas
  • Has difficulties learning to put clothes and shoes on
  • Prefers to listen to story rather than to read a story book
  • Has difficulties clapping hands with rhythm
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Falls easily

(10) Does your child in grammer school demonstrate problems in any of the following areas?
  • Has difficulties reading and writing
  • Has difficulties writing within the lines
  • Hands get tired easily when writing
  • Unable to put numbers in sequence
  • Makes letter reversals
  • Has difficulties cutting with scissors
  • Has difficulties with comprehension
  • Studies very hard but is unable to achieve satisfactory school results
  • Has difficulties tying shoelaces
  • Has difficulties discriminating left and right
  • Lacks self confidence

General questions to be considered and shared during the child’s evaluation:
  • What are the child’s strengths and areas of special interest?
  • What are the child’s areas of difficulties (i.e. speech and language, school performance, social skills, etc.)?
  • How does the child interact to peers?
  • How does the child interact to adults?
  • How are the child’s academic skills compared to his age group?
  • How are the child’s social skills and maturity compared to his age group?
  • Does the child have any medical or behavioral problems which appear to affect his/her learning?

To See our checklist please download from here: Child CheckList


For more information about Early Intervention: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrUNBfyjlBk

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