What traumas lead to someone becoming dumb?
Congenital dumbness in children
There are children who cannot speak, not because they do not want to, but because they were born silent. Due to a genetic defect, the brain cannot properly control speech organs such as the larynx or the vocal cords. In this article you will find out how our child can learn to communicate and what options there are for children born dumb.
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When do you know if your child is mute?
Your little darling is almost two years old and apart from a few sounds, haven't you heard a real word from him? Other children his age are already starting to form sentences and calling out for theirs "Mummy". As always, your little darling will only tell you with gestures and look at you with googly eyes. What's happening?
Before you go crazy with other parents' half-truths, it is best to have your child's behavior clarified directly by the pediatrician and tell him about your concerns. He will examine your child and refer them to an ENT specialist for a more detailed diagnosis. Because it does not always have a psychological background why children do not speak. While some start speaking late (Late talkers) and others feel in an excessive form of shyness or due to a traumatic experience (Mutism), your child may have a medical reason. There are children in whom silence is innate.
What exactly does innate dumbness mean?
Children who are born dumb develop in a completely normal way, both physically and mentally. They learn to crawl and walk and initially communicate with those around them without words. Often parents only realize late that something is wrong with their offspring. While we quickly notice with children born deaf that the child does not react when we call them, it is more difficult with congenital silence. Because mute children are often very cheerful and intelligent. They learn language in a theoretical way, they understand words even if they cannot repeat them. This is due to a genetic defect that leads to damage in the child's brain. As a result, the little person is unable to use his organs of speech properly.
In order to formulate sounds and words, we have to move our individual organs of speech in a certain order. By opening the jaw and the oral cavity, for example, we can do a "O" form and thus generate a completely different sound than when we tense our lips in the corners of the wound and tip our tongue. The airflow changes as the shutter is formed and creates a rather hissing sound. None of this is possible for a child born dumb. Because the commands that his brain needs to coordinate the individual muscles and organs cannot be given due to damage to the central nervous system. The result: Only squeaking noises come out, if at all, so that most children prefer to be completely silent.
What comes after the diagnosis
"The child was born dumb!", a message that hits you like a thunderbolt, and now? It does not make our child any less lovable, nor is it relegated to a life on the fringes of society. However, it means that we have to deal more intensively with our child's clinical picture and its language development. Your child does not have to do without language; on the contrary, they need a way in which they can communicate with other people if the spoken word is not available to them. And we parents can help our child by encouraging them and enabling them to acquire non-verbal techniques.
What communication options are there?
After we have gathered ourselves and the reason for the silence of our child has been clarified, we can concentrate our energies on seeing which measures are most suitable for our child. So that it can not only learn to communicate with other people, but also make friends and continue to develop normally.
Unlike children who are due to a physical damage become dumb children born dumb often do not have the opportunity to speak or regain spoken language through surgery or medical treatment. Nevertheless, they feel the need to communicate, to show their feelings and to get in touch with others. How do you do that? With the help of sign language. Your child learns to communicate non-verbally with gestures and facial expressions and, together with trained teachers and speech therapists, learns a system of signs that is used with the fingers and sometimes with the whole body. They use a combination of characters to form single words and even entire sentences.
In addition to the hands, the mouth is also used, so-called mouth images are used to form words and syllables that are spoken silently. The posture and the use of arms and elbows are sometimes used when your child wants to tell you, for example: "Leave me alone" or "I love you".
For example, if you form a circle with your index finger and thumb and spread the other fingers, you get one "OK" Character. Now place both palms on top of each other on your chest and pull them towards your shoulders as if you were opening a gate. So you say "Good Morning". On the portal "Talking hands" you will find funny and child-friendly sign illustrations to download and some nice games to practice.
Examples of children's signs:
"I… (Point your right index finger at your rib cage)
…I love you": Close your eyes and smile. Caress your cheek with the palm of your hand. Now point to the person opposite.
…Thank you": Bring your open palm to your mouth and briefly touch your lips with your fingertips. Then you bend your open hand forward, as if you were sending a kiss on the hand.
…I'm sad": Use your index finger to draw a line down your cheek away from your eye.
..am happy": Form both hands into fists and stick out your thumbs. Then bring both thumbs together in front of your chest and pull your hands up to your shoulders in a sickle shape. In doing so, you pull the corners of your mouth upwards and shape your lips into a smile.
The most important thing is that not only your child learns sign language, also his siblings and parents, as well as grandparents, should deal with it so that they can all communicate with one another. It is incredibly important for your child to be supported by their parents, who are the most important caregivers. Learning sign language is not that difficult, it is comparable to a new foreign language and is also a lot of fun together. Every little step forward will make everyday life easier for you with your child and also bring you closer together. This will strengthen your parent-child relationship and enable your little one to have a relatively normal life.
Even children who born deaf were or due to a physical damage to the organs of speech do not speak, can participate in community life with the help of sign language. Be it that you attend a special school where other children are taught sign language or that they take part in activities with like-minded people. Such joint projects not only strengthen your child's self-confidence and make them feel despite their handicaps "A completely normal child" To be, it can also be very helpful for us parents to get together with other affected families, to exchange ideas and to support one another.
More tips on how parents can support their dumb child
In addition to the sign language, which you and your child must first learn, there are also other ways in which you can communicate with each other:
Pay attention to your child's gestures and facial expressions as you communicate with each other. This means that you shouldn't turn away from your child while speaking, e.g. to pick up laundry or wash the dishes. Especially when your child is still young, it learns by observing how you behave in certain situations. It copies gestures and also your facial expressions. This will help you later to read his emotions and to be able to interpret them better. This means: look at your child as they speak and pay attention to the signals they are sending you.
With older children who have already learned to write, you can use script and short written messages to make yourself understood.
A nice way that our children, but also we adults, can learn to deal more easily with the fact that our children are mute is pantomime. Everyone knows the parlor game "Taboo", where the aim is to describe words through gestures and facial expressions without speaking. It's extremely difficult and most of the time the others have something to laugh about. But what do you mean what for "Taboo species" you and your child will when you can read your gestures and facial expressions perfectly. To practice, you can think of a kind of game in your family to create your own vocabulary from signs and gestures.
Expressive dance, hip hop or theater are also ideal when it comes to your child finding a way to express themselves, their feelings and needs. It can hear the music and develop a sense of rhythm for it, such as strong feelings, such as "I love you", other than can say with spoken words. Most of the time, mute children develop a very good body image and are much more sensitive than children who can speak.
Find out more about the topic in our series of articles on the topic: Causes Children Don't Speak.
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