There are many truths and myths out there that I’d like to explain to prevent misunderstanding. This will enable you to support your child by seeking the correct information.
Why not have a look at the following statements and decide if you think they are true or false?
- Flashcards will fix my child’s speech, language, and communication needs.
- Singing to my child will not help their language development.
- My child communicates in a variety of ways not just through speech.
- Learning another language is good for my child.
Now let’s explore these statements in more detail.
1. Flashcards will fix my child’s speech, language and communication needs – False
To develop your child’s communication skills, you’ll want your child to generalise their skills across multiple areas. I would highly recommend staying away from flashcards if they are only teaching ‘rote learning’. Children need to explore the world through play. However if you’re looking at cards, talking about them and having meaningful conversations, and your child is enjoying it, then there potentially is a use for flashcards. But at London Speech and Feeding, we love innovative activities that your child is fully immersed in.
2. Singing to my child will not help their language development – False
Singing introduces your child to rhyme, and repetition amongst many other benefits. It allows them to attend and listen to you as their caregiver and develop the vital stages of early communication. Singing slows down language so your child becomes more aware of the relationship between letters and sounds. You’re also supporting your child’s oral fluency as well as their memory. Furthermore, you’ll often be face to face with your child singing which allows them to see your facial expressions, lip patterns and eye contact (to name a few).
3. My child communicates in a variety of ways not just through speech – True
Communication is much more than just talking. So, it’s true that communication happens in a variety of ways. Think about it. If you didn’t talk and you wanted to convey a message of frustration, you may show different facial expressions, body language; you may point at something which has caused your frustration. We can communicate through a variety of means (some of which include symbols, gestures, hand signals, and pictures). Can you think of any other ways in which you communicate to others?
4. Learning another language is good for my child – True
Current evidence suggests that speaking another language to your child is a positive. It allows your child to interact with different members of the family or with their friends. ASHA suggests that children who speak two languages fluently often learn new vocabulary easier and find categorisation simpler. Bilingual children have been shown to understand the needs of their communication partner. In addition, increased vocabulary may support better understanding. There are no negative factors about learning more than one language. We would recommend that, whatever language(s) your child is learning, they have a good model of that language, so they learn best practice.
Always seek the advice from a qualified Speech and Language Therapist if you’re unsure of how your child’s speech, language and communication is developing, as there are lots of information online that aren’t always accurate.
I’m always happy to support your family to increase your knowledge and understanding.
Find a speech and language therapist for your child in London. Are you concerned about your child’s speech, feeding or communication skills and don’t know where to turn? Please contact me and we can discuss how I can help you or visit my services page.