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.
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