Creating a Future Full of Hope…
Helping Children Communicate
To Hear – To Speak – To Understand
These are the basic steps of language development in the young mind. Yet, there are otherwise normal, healthy children, rich and poor alike, who are shut off from communication, even with their own parents.
These children’s hearing, speech, language, or learning problems could arise from a variety of reasons. Research continues on the causes of poor speech and language development, as well as associated learning disabilities in children. Because there is a wide age range for children to begin talking, parents may not at first recognize these communication disorders. As they wait expectantly for the first intelligible word uttered by their child, they may gradually become concerned that something is amiss. Speech-language disorders affect approximately six million children in the United States. However, many of these childhood problems do not mean mental deficiency or emotional disturbance. Often, these children have at least average or even superior intelligence. What they lack is the ability to exercise this intelligence through normal speech and language channels. Today, at RiteCare clinics, centers, and programs in every Orient (state) of the Southern Jurisdiction, many children with communication disorders can be helped to hear, to speak, to understand.
How to Identify Speech and Language Disorders and Associated Learning Disabilities
Children who have these problems are sometimes hard to detect. As noted before, there is a wide age range for children to begin talking. Parents may become concerned later than desirable, may not recognize, or may misinterpret the symptoms. These children are often slow in developing a vocabulary or are difficult to understand, using incomplete or incorrect sentences or gibberish.
They may have difficulties with attention, memory, or word retrieval. They may be slow in processing auditory information. There are many technical diagnostic terms for these problems, and some of them can sound terrifying to parents. However, parents must remember that many of these dysfunctions do not mean mental deficiency or emotional disturbance.
The Importance of Early Evaluation and Treatment
In the past few years, there has been increasing recognition of the importance of evaluating and treating childhood problems at the earliest possible stage. The chances of a child with a communication disorder attaining his or her peer group level are much greater if the child receives help at an early age.
What to Do if a Parent Suspects a Child Needs Help
A parent with concerns about a child’s language or learning ability should call a RiteCare Clinic, Center, or Program for guidance or contact appropriate municipal or state organizations. The first step is a complete evaluation of the child’s condition by professionals. In most instances, a child identified as having a communication disorder can be helped by the Scottish Rite. However, a child who demonstrates overall developmental delays or severe handicapping conditions may require other forms of treatment, such as physical therapy or a full-time special education program. Any of the trained speech-language pathologists at the RiteCare clinics and centers can recommend programs specializing in advanced treatment. These facilities generally are located in or adjacent to a Scottish Rite Temple, and the clinics may be associated with major hospitals or universities in the area. All are clearly identified in the telephone book and are known to health-care and education professionals in the areas in which they are located. The main thing parents should remember is to seek help as soon as possible if there s any indication that the child has a problem.
As a rule, the RiteCare Clinics accept preschool children who have difficulty speaking or understanding the spoken word or school-age children who have difficulty learning to read.
Inquiries on age groups and program offerings in specific areas should be addressed to the director of the local Scottish Rite facility. Equally important, all services are available regardless of race, creed, or the family’s inability to pay.
If you feel you child meets eligibility please fill out our application