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How to treat a child with a speech impediment?

By No author

Fact: 5% of children enter school with speech and language impediments.

Isn’t it amazing to see a young child able to switch between languages aged 3? I clearly remember my mother-in-law, who is British being on holiday in France with my very young daughters and using them as translators when ordering at  cafes and restaurants. But being bi-lingual often comes at a cost. Many children, find it difficult to reach the same richness in vocabulary in both languages and some even develop speech impediments. None of this of course is permanent if you can find the right person to help you deal with these issues but it is often very distressing for parents to discover that their child is experiencing difficulties and requires help. One of my friends, whose little girl was bi-lingual ended up  seeing two different speech therapists who treated her for each language independently. I am pleased to report that her little girl, who is now eight speaks perfectly and what was once a major drama no longer exists. However, things could have been very different. Why? Simply because children are often incorrectly diagnosed and therefore their treatment is not adapted to their problem. Ileana Giesen , who is a speech therapist based near the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, pointed out to me that some language disorders are often diagnosed as “dysphasia”, “dyslexia” or “attention span” disorders when in fact this is not the case. She also mentioned that in Paris, Doctor G. Gelbert, neurologist, observed and analysed those specific reading, writing and comprehension disorders as part of a “type of aphasic disorders” however without any cerebral lesions.

An initial linguistic assessment enables her to examine various functions: speech (articulation- dysprosodia), oral language (expression of ideas, vocabulary, structure of sentences), reading (deciphering- understanding) and written language (copy- spelling – spontaneous).

Then, regular sessions of 30 minutes each, with simple, repetitive and mechanical exercises are used to re-establish the basic functions of reading, writing and comprehension.

It just shows how important going to the right expert is critical from the start. Speech therapist often have to work closely with other people such as teachers and health professionals including doctors, nurses and psychologists.

You may want to seek help for your child if you notice any of the following:

  • difficulty producing and using speech
  • difficulty understanding language
  • difficulty using language
  • difficulty with feeding, chewing or swallowing
  •  a stammer
  •  a voice problem

For more information about Ileana Giesen .



The DYSEUROPE’s abc METHOD is unique. It was designed to enhance the quality of spelling and to overcome dyslexia with the active support of parents.

It is a pragmatic and pedagogical response to the real problem encountered by the child particularly during the learning phase (from 6 years). The method is sufficient in itself, so to be fully effective it must be used alone.

The basics of the method were developed in 1965 by Willem de Haan, researcher psycholinguist and language researcher. The method was refined and adapted in 1996 by Marlene Merlivat, Director of DYSEUROPE (editor), who has developed the French, English and German version. The Dyseurope's abc method consists of three books. The child progresses in small steps with parents, never more than 15 minutes per day, in the comforting atmosphere of home. Already many books have been sold across Europe and all over the world. The method abc Dyseurope is available in English, French and German. More information is to be found on the Dyseurope Internet site: as well as many testimonies of convinced and happy parents.



09/11/2012 - logopedie.pignez said :

Je suis belge et logopède (orthophoniste) de formation depuis quelques années. Je travaille comme employée dans une Maison de Repos et de Soins mais aussi comme indépendante (cabinet et domicile). Je souhaiterais m'installer dans la région de Londres dans les mois à venir.
Je voulais juste savoir s'il y avait des opportunités de travailler là-bas et pourquoi pas, de collaborer avec d'autres orthophonistes ou autres paramédicaux (psychologues par exemple)?

25/10/2012 - n.wouskies said :

I appreciate you taking to time to contribute. That's very helpful.

27/09/2012 - virginie.gilabert said :

Bonjour! je suis orthophoniste française avec 10 ans d'expérience et mon mari vient d'être muté à Londres. Pensez vous qu'il existe des opportunités pour s'installer à londres comme orthophoniste libérale? y a t-il une population de français intéressés par ces services? Vos commentaires sont les bienvenus, merci d'avance!

27/09/2012 - sdfanyi said :

I rellay wish there were more articles like this on the web.

26/05/2012 - dk18stone said :

This is a serious topic , and want their children to grow up healthy.

28/02/2012 - patriciaconnell said :

Ileana Giesen est en fait francaise.

28/02/2012 - reusliz said :

meme question svp. Avez vous des orthophonistes francais a Londres?

20/11/2011 - elbezfamily said :

Avez vous des noms des orthophonistes qui parlent francais a Londres?

12/01/2011 - juliandorling said :

If the child has a stutter or stammer try
The Michael Palin Centre in Islington


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