Category Archives: children


So far, we have discussed tips for learning language at home. They are: 1) Be an active listener. 2) Let your child talk. 3) Reward your child’s speech attempts. and 4) If you don’t understand your chld, help the child communicate more clearly.

More strategies will help your child develop language.

5) Give your child enough time to respond to you. Children with language problems often need extra time to process what you say. You should not assume that your child will be ready to respond as soon as you finish talking. If your child is unable to respond, repeat what you said. Your child may need to hear it again to fully understand the meaning. It will take a lot of patience on your part to wait and repeat if necessary, but it will improve your daily communications with your child.

6) When your child makes a sound or word, use feedback. Child: “Look, Daddy’s tar!” Caregiver would respond with, “Yes, Daddy’s Car! We ride in his car.” All you are doing is giving your child a chance to hear the correct form. It is not necessary to ask your child to repeat the correct form. In time, your child will probably begin to repeat the correct speech after you without being asked to do so. This allows you to avoid “correcting” your child’s speech and language. Nobody likes to be corrected! Your child needs to associate language development with good experiences. Try using feedback with your child. You will probably be pleased with the results.

Reference: Communication Skill Builders; Diana D. Grimm, M.A. CCC, Ed.S.

Encourage Your Child’s Language Development: PART 2

We are continuing to recommend ways to encourage language development.  The first two listed in my last post were 1) Be an active listener and 2) Let your child talk without interruptions.

Some other ways are:

3) Reward your child’s speech attempts by expressing approval in several ways.  Physical approval are smiles, hugs, kisses, and touch.   Verbal approval is “Good!”;  “I like that!”; “Nice talking!”;  “I like the way you use that new word.”  Natural consequences are an appropriate action in response to your child’s speech attempt, such as: Child says “Ju” and you as the parent would say “You want juice!” as you give your child juice.

4) If you don’t understand your child, help your child communicate more clearly: a)  Smile, don’t frown.  A frown may give your child the impression you are unhappy or angry. b) Acknowledge your child’s speech attempts and frustration at not being understood.  You might say, “I know you are trying to tell me something.  Sometimes it’s hard.” c) Try to understand one word of your child’s remark.  Use the word to ask the child to try again:  “Tell me about the dog.” d) If you continue to have difficulty understanding, ask your child to show you.  Have your child point to what he/she is talking about.  * Give multiple choice questions along with the objects that correspond to the question.  For example, “Do you want juice or milk?”

I will continue to give you strategies to encourage language development in your child in the next post.

Reference: Communication Skill Builders; Author Diann D. Grimm, M.A. CCC, Ed.S

* Edited by Pamela Hass, M.A. CCC-SLP





Part One:
How parents respond to their child can encourage or discourage language development. A child might say, “He eated the cake.” The child’s parents may reply, “No, not eated. That’s wrong! Say, ‘he ate the cake.’ If you were the child, which reply would encourage you to keep trying to learn?


How parents respond to their child’s efforts to communicate is very important. Children learn best when they are encouraged to try and are praised when they succeed. When parents accept their child’s attempts to speak, the child wants to keep trying. To improve, the child must keep talking!

It is especially important for children having difficulty with language to have good experiences while learning. These tips can help parents respond to their child in positive ways. This approach can encourage learning, boost self-confidence, and make the learning experience fun for everyone.

1. BE AN ACTIVE LISTENER. Let your child know that you are listening. Show your sincere interest. Get down to the child’s eye level and look at the child. Listen to the child’s tone of voice. Notice the expressions of the child’s face, body, and hands. These will all be clues to help you understand your child’s message. Let your child know that the message is important to you.

Every parent has times when it is impossible to be an active listener. At those times, let your child know
that you care, but are just too busy to talk. If possible, tell the child that you would like to talk later. Be sure to follow through on that promise!

Because children are just learning our complex language, it may take them a long time to put their thoughts into words. If your child feels rushed, the child’s language attempts may be unsuccessful, resulting in a bad experience. Try to set up family rules about whose turn it is to “take the floor”. Let your child finish speaking, even if the child’s “turn” is longer than other family members’.

Reference: Diann D. Grimm, M.A., CCC, Ed.S.
Communication SKill Builders Inc

Look for PART 2 coming soon!

Pam Hass
Speech Language Pathologist
Interactive Therapy Inc