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Epilepsy, Speech and Family

Introduction

Development of speech-language skills might be hindered due to medical issues, for example, Epilepsy. Epilepsy is defined as abnormal brain activity. This problem causes changes in child’s behavior or physical, for example, loss of consciousness, sudden silent and physical cramp.

Epilepsy and Speech

Language understanding and speech activities are being control by the brain. When epilepsy occurs, normal brain activity is interrupted. Speech and language development process also interrupted. Some children become forgetful of what they had already learned. It has becomes a major worry to parents.

Below are some of the effects on speech and language development following epilepsy episode:

  • Difficulty to comprehend command
  • Loss of word
  • Difficulty to pay attention
  • Poor speech intelligibility

Epilepsy and Family Roles

Parents and family play an important role in helping the child to acquire speech and language skills after epilepsy episode. Loss ofcommunication skills following epilepsy should not be an excuse not to help the child to slowly acquire the skills back. Language stimulation in daily routine shall be implemented in order to help the child.

Below are some of the key points that the parents should do to help their child:

  • Play with your child

    Play is one of the good ways to learn speech and language. Other than fun, through play, child gets the opportunity to try or experience something new. Play also helps the child to interact or communicate with other people. It encourages good speech and language development.

  • Give language input to your kid

    Language input is crucial for child to learn to understand spoken language. Talking and explaining things to your child are important to help them to learn language. Besides, telling a story to the child is definitely a good activity to boost the child’s language understanding. Always remember to comment or explain on what your child is doing and reduce asking too many questions.

  • Control your speech rate

    Speech rate is one of the factors that influence the child from understanding spoken language. Child usually has difficulty to listen to language input when parents speak in a fast rate. Child’s attention towards interaction will also deteriorate. Children need time to digest the words spoken to them. Due to that, parents should use slow speech rate when talking to the child.

  • Praises and reinforcement

    Child loves to be praised. Praise your child when s/he managed to do the given tasks or when s/he is doing something good. Give reinforcement to encourage your child to keep trying and continue the good behaviors. Other than tremendous tools to be used to increase child’s motivation, praises and reinforcement also help to develop good self-esteem for your child to communicate.

  • Repeat and do it consistently

    Repetition is important to help child to memorise what has been taught to them. Always repeat your words or sentences when talking to your child. This will help your child to get the exact language input. Other than that, always make sure that language stimulation activities is done in daily routine consistently.

  • Give chance to your child to communicate

    Speech and language learning process will never be a success if the child is not given the chance to talk. Spend time to listen to your child story and always pay attention to her/ him especially when s/he is asking about something. Give freedom for your child

In conclusion, epilepsy usually effect child’s speech and language development. Because of that, parents and family should do their best and play their roles to help in the rehabilitation process. Parents and family is the best model for the child. Consistent language stimulation especially in daily routine will definitely help the child to communicate better.

Resources

  1. Bee, H., & Boyd, D. (2004). The Developing Child. (10th Ed.). United States; Pearson Education, Inc.
  2. Paul, R. (2001). Language Disorders From Infancy Through Adolescence. (2nd Ed.). United States; Mosby, Inc.
Semakan Akhir : 17 Oktober 2014
Penulis : Rozila bt. Sumardi
Akreditor : Zaidi bin Ya’acob