Giving Directions to Your Child-Part 2

Here are more guidelines on helping your child understand directions.

1.  Use chunking when possible.  Chunking means saying related directions in one breath.  Pausing between each direction helps recall the information, if it is chunked according to similarities.  For example,
“Wash your face and brush your teeth; (pause) Then get your book and I’ll read it to you.  Give your child only the number of chunks your child can understand.

2.  Select words at your child’s level of difficulty.  Use words that your child consistently understands when giving directions.  Use short, simple sentences.

3.  Know what to expect of your child.  If you know what to expect of your child, you will not give directions that are too difficult to follow.  Your speech and language pathologist can help you determine your child’s ability to understand directions.

4.  Give your child clear feedback.  When your child completes your directions, let the child know exactly what was done correctly.  You may want to tell your child the directions the child just completed.  If your child did not complete your directions, show or tell exactly whqt needed to be done.  If an attempt is partially successful, praise what- ever your child did correctly.

In my next blog, I will review how your child can understand and follow more difficult directions as language skills develop.