Center for child development


11-Year-Old Boy with Stilted and Rote Language

The child and the concern

Henry, an 11-year-old boy in his 5th standard was brought to us by his parents seeking the advices and intervention, if needed, from an experienced speech and language therapist. Henry was the younger of the two boys the parents had and they live in Aluva, Kochi.

The parents were attended by one of our speech pathologist in Ernakulam to understand the concern. We were informed that Henry was has been a good student scoring high grades till the end of the 4th grade. From the fifth grade, he began to exhibit a decline in his grades continuously.

The parents also informed us that his class teacher had informed them about the same previously and they thought the issue to be normal with children. However, they began considering the intervention of a speech therapy centre Ernakulam only when the child started to exhibit certain complex behavioral patterns due to which his classmates started to alienate him from friend circles.

How we tacked the concern and planned for the intervention

Analyzing Henry’s speech patterns, language abilities and academic and familial background we decided to assess the language efficiency of the child. We used a couple of standard assessment techniques to learn more about the issues of the child.

Carefully analyzing the results observed we learned that the child did have strong language skills. However where he lacked severely was pragmatic language skills and this is identified to be the pressing issue behind the child’s dwindling academic performance and behaviors at the school. As the best person to help children with pragmatic language disorder is a speech and language therapist, the case was moved to one of our best language therapists in Ernakulam.

The specific intervention approach we used for Henry included structured language programmes, intensive interaction and social stories along with non-directive communication therapy. Our speech pathologists in Kochi also gave orientation classes to the parents and the teacher to support Henry and to aid him in his development.

The result of the program

As expected, the child’s social skills gradually began to improve; slowly, but progressively. We also have sessions with Henry to help him meet the challenges of his exams, as well.

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The Difference Between Good And Bad Parenting

There is more to good parenting than just being good to the children. With the various ways of exercising control, it comes as no particular surprise that good parenting is often arrived at by a trial and error method. The various combinations of character and behavior make parenting one of the hardest jobs to master but that which gives enormous returns if done correctly.

Should the child ask?

It is common practice that most parents teach the young child to ask for anything that he might want. This could well be a lesson in manners too, with the nice way of asking being taught to the child. But surprisingly, a lot of toddlers and even the teenagers do take offence at this requirement. If even the most basic needs have to be asked to receive, it soon becomes humiliation for the young ones. This can best be avoided by applying a simple rule that differentiates the most essential from the real goodies that the child needs.

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Get the child to do as told

If people could just master the art of getting things done at minimal effort, then things would be a lot easier. Sadly, in real life it simply isn’t so. It is important that children are trained to do as told till they are mature enough to make their own independent decision. How to go about to controlling the child to do as told is the million dollar question.

With the numerous ways of gaining attention and the tried and tested ways to get children to do as needed, it soon becomes apparent that getting obedience is no small thing. Particularly, if the obedience is had at little effort. It is more of a mind conditioning thing to get children to obey and more often than not it is a sum total of what has been tried and tested right from the very early stages of development.

Treating the child as an equal

Giving a child his bit of respect does not do harm to any relationship that is formed with the young one. People are so taken in by a false sense of greatness that they are not prepared to come down to the level of the small toddler.

In a lot of cultures, the elders or grownups do occupy certain high points that make people loathe bringing themselves to the level of the child. If a child has to be controlled effectively, then it is imperative that such airs be left behind and a proper approach be initiated with the young one.

There are a lot of cultural differences as well. For instance Eastern cultures do not allow a display of emotions with particularly the children. Elders are venerated and as such they are expected to keep a distance to the children. Even in such situations, the mothers of the children are not normally held back by such standards. This does allow at least a parent to get close and friendly with a child and this could well be the starting point to a fruitful relationship.

Conclusion

With the various methods and means that differing cultures apply in the case of children it soon becomes apparent that different and new ideas can indeed be tried out within the binds afforded by the cultural barriers.

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The Psychology of a Child’s Visit to a Hospital

It is not every day that a child gets to visit a hospital. The reasons for a visit could be many. A sick friend, a sick relative or perhaps as a patient, to visit a doctor. The sight of a hospital would make anyone feel intimidated; no matter the circumstances of the visit. Most hospitals are imposing enough with the smell of disinfectant permeating all that is to be seen.

Keeping a child occupied

It is not easy for young children to remain quiet. It is that age when they should be doing the running and climbing stuff that most healthy children accomplish so effortlessly.

In case a child is taken to hospital as a patient it does help to keep something familiar to the child with him. It could be a blanket that he uses or small toy that he is fond of. This does help calm the child down. More of a reassurance. Sick children are normally quiet and a smoothening of nerves is what is so required of the parents to do.

Most pediatric wards have small play areas that help the child be at ease with the surroundings. The use of toys and props that emphasize the human part of hospitals would help reassure even the most fidgety of children.

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The need to keep informed

There are those parents that would mask the real reason for a visit to a hospital from the child particularly if the patient happens to be the said child. Although this does at times help better handle the child, it can at most instances prove counter productive. This is because most children are bound to find out the truth at some point or the other and the reaction thereafter can be outrageous so to speak.

The healthy practice is to keep the child informed and reassured of the procedures at the hospital. Stories can help the child relate to people there. Most important is that the parent accompanying the toddler must be at the side all through the visit. A child in panic can cause repairable damage to the psyche.
Relating to the child

It does help to relate to the child when taking him to the hospital. For most children, the doctor is an unpleasant person that sticks needles into them. The child cannot be expected to know that being a doctor needs years of training and that doctors are quite capable of relieving children and adults alike of illness.

There are a lot of books that show children the workings of a hospital and the various people that work at such premises. It does help to bring such books to the children often as soon as they get to four or five years of age. The introduction of various figures and persons at the hospital can help build a healthy relation to actual persons in hospitals. It is inevitable that children visit a hospital at some point or the other.

The fun part

Modern day hospitals are alive to the image that they build for themselves among the population in general. Thus schools are encouraged to pay visits to such premises to familiarize the workings of an actual institution. This could well be the most productive part of PR that a good hospital practices. The rapport that the child makes at an early stage of the childhood is important in maintaining a healthy relation to such an institution so early in the childhood.

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Dealing With Children With Special Needs

The beginning of the acceptance:

The first step in dealing with children with disabilities is to accept that the particular child does indeed have a condition that needs extra care or specialized care. Often parents and close members of the child’s family refuse to acknowledge the actual condition of children needing special care. This could well be an attitude or a more pronounced denial. The recognition that a particular child is different is the very first step towards the setting rights a problem or a better adaptation to the condition.

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The correct diagnosis:

Once a child has been seen to be different, it is important that the correct condition is recognized. Often it is noticed that doctors and social workers do tend to get the proper condition wrong. This has a lot to do with the limited ability for the child to actively participate in the diagnostic procedures. It is seen that in a number of instances the perceptions change with time thus putting at risk the proper tackling of the condition. What was seen as social withdrawal could later on be considered as the conditioning of a child. This is where the role of occupational therapists come into play.

With the power of observation that is so ingrained in each and every one of us, it is possible to feel the difference that a child that is different from others is presented. The use of equipment comes only after the first observation of a child with disabilities. Most therapists would make a good assessment of a child with difficulties and would in more ways than one be ready for the actual findings that could be had from the various tests available.

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Preparing the parents-

The first people that a condition of a child would be revealed to are the parents of the child. And this can often be the most difficult of situations. With most parents, there is an air of disbelief and a lack of acceptance. That their child could be different from others is something that most parents would find it hard to reconcile to. Putting across a situation along with the persuasive elements of a case would help with matters and this is typically what most therapists aim at doing.

The other equally important aspect is to give the parents some hope to the future. It would be cruel and lacking in tact to announce that the child is totally hopeless. There is bound to be a hope that some way or the other, the child would pull through. It is this hope that would keep the parents to believe in a child. The search for a rainbow must be done till the rainbow is found and the treasure unearthed at its very end.

Dealing with society:

It is quite normal that the society at large would not be that sympathetic to the condition that a particular child has been diagnosed with. Most of the time, people would not have the specialized knowledge to understand the conditions of the child. But they would all be happy to gloat over the misfortune that has befallen a fellow being. The nature of society to see others suffering or bad luck as a point to gloat over is never truly explained by the best of sociologists. If only people could be more like animals, then it might be possible to explain the most barbaric of behavior in acceptable terms.

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How An Effective Speech Therapy Makes A Difference

Most people would have come across the term ‘speech therapy’ without fully realizing the full meaning of the term. It is common notion that any repair to a person’s speech facility is indeed speech therapy. Far from it. Effectively, speech therapy is the correcting of the faulty speech faculty and can at times involve more than just the speech lab. Any lack of ability in speech is usually tackled first in a speech lab with speech therapy.

Articulation and voice

For most people the speech facility can be divided into two. Articulation and voice. Taking voice first, it is the sound produced at the time of speaking. There are many instances when insufficient voice or sound emanates from the voice box. This could in most instances be due to the improper formation of the voice box or due to certain illness that would have damaged the voice box. There are also certain conditions that are not repairable and hence the person has to be trained to bring out the most voice with the use of the same debilitated facility.

Articulation on the other hand is the amount of dexterity that a person’s sound has. It points to the flexibility that people have in using the sound facility. It is also a measure of the persons IQ that they should be able to bring out the most twisted of vocals with ease. It is often the lack of articulation that people thing needs speech therapy. But most cases of insufficient articulation is in fact a reflection of a lower ability overall.

Language of therapy

It is the most common factor to take to speech therapy in the mother tongue. There are a lot of inherent advantages to this practice. Children are exposed to their mother tongue most from the time of birth and beyond. Most children are usually seen picking up syllables in the mother tongue than any other language. All this would point that the language of therapy is indeed the mother tongue most of the time.
There are in some very small situations when the language used in therapy is different to the mother tongue. This is to expose the child to use of language other than the mother tongue and helps in the fast and efficient use of words. There are indeed scenarios when the use of a foreign language along with the mother tongue can produce results better than the mother tongue alone.

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The wide range of application of speech therapy

Often speech therapy involves training the voice box as well as the throats of people. People with difficulties in swallowing and moving of the throat muscle have benefitted immensely with speech therapy. In this case, the further use and development of the neck and throat muscles are attained in speech therapy.

As can be seen usually in any modern stream of therapy, the uses of props are relied on most occasions to bring to the fore the best possible treatment plan. The very specialized nature of treatments systems that speech therapy is brings only the most prepared of people into the profession. The use of further specializations in the field has meant that speech therapy is no longer the esoteric treatment system that people most often encountered in movies alone.

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Our Team

What People Say

Prayatna clinic is class apart in terms of the child oriented therapies accorded over here. Each therapist takes personal care of the needs of the children and offer palliative cure that starts showing results within few days. I have not come across such clinics across India. The infrastructural support and resource base particularly the brain gym etc. are world class. Children also enjoy learning therapies over here due to the motivating atmosphere. Rehabilitation process is faster. Prayatna is really doing a stellar job.

Vineesh S

I have never had such a pleasant therapeutic experience as I have enjoyed in Praytana clinic. The ambience does not have that medical feeling to it. Therapists are always willing to walk the extra mile to make the process easier. The simple manner in which the therapies are offered is really hard to believe without experiencing at a personal level. They also prescribe therapies to be practised at home so that idleness does not interfere with the effect. Keep up the good job.

Mahesh

It was not long since I started seeing a positive change sweeping the life of my only child who required sensory integration therapy. At first, I was hesitating to go to Praytana and thought it to be like any other clinic with lofty claims but with no substance. But, a rude but pleasant shock awaited me as I could see the therapies work wonder for my child. He was no longer the same old kid seeking vents to express his pent-up emotions. Hats off to Prayatna.

Arunima Software Engineer

My son has been suffering from autistic syndrome and was not able to interact intuitively with his peers. The rehabilitative care offered at Prayatna was life-changing experience for me. Changes in the behavioural patterns of my son started becoming evident. His actions are now more agile and he no longer starts feeling uneasy in the company of others. Prayatna has pulled off the trick for my son. I would candidly recommend the clinic to all parents who want their children to take control of their lives.

Stephan Georage Sales Executive

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