Speech is such a key element to a happier and fuller life, that any difficulties experienced in this area will severely limit normal development. Children that fall behind in their speech development or who fail to acquire speech altogether are severely disadvantaged in life and deserve all the help they can get. If there are difficulties with the 'output' (speech), then always check if the 'input' (hearing) functions optimally. Language and speech are learned through listening and if there are difficulties with the hearing system, then this often will affect speech development. A medical hearing test is recommended, but be aware of the limitations of some hearing tests as doctors often only check for severe hearing loss across all frequencies and disregard any distortions or over-sensitivities which can affect speech.
People that listen mainly with their left ear may have slower speech processing and more often than average suffer from stuttering or other speech impediments. The way sounds are processed in the brain also plays a key aspect in the development of speech and re-training the auditory processing centres in the brain can have beneficial effects.Children that do not start to speak around the age of two or that suddenly regress in their speech, need specialist help to encourage them to start speaking. Although speech is the ultimate aim, this may require a number of preparatory steps prior to progressing to a speech specific programme. Improvements in attention, eye contact and social skills may all help in preparing the child to take the final step towards acquiring speech.
Children that very much live 'in their own world' or that have a strong need to control their environment, will also need to be helped in these areas first. A child that has lived without speech for some time often lacks to need to start speaking as it has learned to operate well enough without speech and has all his basic needs met by the parents. In these cases the child needs to be provided with sufficient motivation to try to speak.
SAS Centre specialises in programmes that encourage a child to acquire speech. This may involve preparatory work to improve attention, social contact and motivation followed by a programme of specially altered music and language input. Each programme is designed around the needs and abilities of the child and is aimed at helping the child to start speaking.