SIMPLE SPEECH AND LANGUAGE THERAPY TIPS you can try out at home in daily life!
So many new referrals come to me from parents of toddlers saying help, my little one does not speak yet, what can I do? Consider trying out those strategies, they really help:
Increase playing with your child and try to have MORE FUN. Try and resist the urge to ‘teach’ your child. Fun activities are naturally more motivating and your child will learn new words more easily if you are both having fun together. Try and act goofy to get your child’s attention and make them laugh.
Respect all play forms your child is interested in, not just play with typical/shop bought toys. Be a PLAY PARTNER instead of a PLAY DIRECTOR.
Use simple words and short phrases with correct grammar about your child’s interests. For example, if he gives you a toy and wants to play, use words to describe that activity, e.g. : “spinning”! “that’s spinning round and round” “wheee” “wow it’s spinning fast!”
Your child is likely to learn the words that match activities he’s motivated and interested in.
Show your child what words mean
You can POINT to something as you say the word (e.g. point to a bird in the sky as you say “Look at the bird!”), ACT out what the word means (e.g. pretend to shiver as you talk about how “cold” it is), or HOLD UP OBJECT as you say it’s name (e.g. hold up your child’s coat as you say, “It’s time to put your coat on”).
Stress key words and repeat them often. Children need to hear words several times in different situations before they really understand what they mean. Try to repeat words that are familiar to your child during everyday activities and routines. For example, you might use the word “go” when you are talking about going outside and duringva “ready steady go” game. Using the same word in different situations gives your child more information about what the word means.
Stop asking too many questions, this is hard for adults to do as we often try to direct our children’s play.
Respond positively to your child’s attempts to communicate, even if these attempts aren’t perfect. As children are learning about words, they sometimes attempt to say a word but don’t pronounce it correctly, or they might use an action or gesture instead of the word. When you notice your child attempt to communicate with you, respond as if he said the word. This shows him you are listening and that you understand what he is trying to tell you. It also encourages him to keep trying to communicate with you.
Learning to say new words doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time for children to build their understanding enough that they can say a word and use it in the right situation. By using the tips above, you will give your child’s vocabulary a kickstart, and pave the way to new words.
Do get in touch with me if you need more help. I specialise in providing individual on-line virtual coaching with parents . This is helpful and often necessary given how complex our children are and how difficult it is to acquire speech and language when for one reason or another it is not your thing!
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.