Category Archives: child

LEARNING NEW WORDS: PART 3

Using natural activities will increase vocabulary.  When your child needs to learn a “target” word, try these activities:

  1. Find five pictures depicting the word and tape them in five major doorways throughout your house.  Place the pictures at your child’s eye level.  Now establish the “rule” that whenever a family member goes through that doorway, and your child is within listening distance, the family member must say the word or a short phrase containing the word.
  2. Use the word in some of your family’s favorite songs.
  3. Have your child participate in activities in which the word occurs (folding clothes, mealtime, playing with toys, dressing, bathtime, etc.). Use the word repeatedly throughout the activity.
  4. Encourage your child to use the word, but without too much pressure.  Continue the activities described to help the child listen to the word and see how using the word can influence other people.
Using activities of daily living to help your child learn new words and using the words repeatedly in the activity will help your child retain the word.  Praise your child for using the word in conversation when it occurs.
Reference:  The strategies were taken from Communication Skill Builders by Leslie S. McColgin.
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LEARNING NEW WORDS: PART 2

Interactive Therapy Inc. hasn’t blogged in a while, so this post is a continuation of learning new words that was started in April, 2015.  These are more tips to help your child learn new words for improved communication:

6) Try to use meaningful situations at home to develop language learning.  For example, when your child wants or needs something, the child is more likely to pay attention to the word, or to try to say the word.

7) Repetition is very important.  It is possible to find many different responses to say a word in a given situation.  It may be necessary for your child to hear a word many times, in different phrases, before the child will try to say it.

8) Respond appropriately to your child.  Children acquire words because words bring results.  The big “payoff” for your child’s use of words is your natural and spontaneous response.  For example, your child might say, “More ice cream, please.” If you give more ice cream, the child is discovering that language gets results.

9) As your child learns new words, the pronunciation may not be correct.  It is important that you accept variations in pronunciation at first.  Encourage the use of the word without correcting the child’s pronunciation.  Pronunciation can be improved once a child has acquired a word and uses it without hesitation in appropriate situations.

10) Your child also needs to hear and see what the word is NOT.  Knowing what a hat is , is related to knowing that other things are “not hats.”  Putting different types of hats in a group is one way to help your child know what a hat is and for example that ” a shirt” is not a hat.  Point out to your child things that are not what you are currently working on.  In general, it is best to start by pointing out what something is before pointing out what it is not.

The above information was taken from “Communication Skill Builders”  and written by Leslie S. McColgin for instructional purposes and edited by me.

I would like to add that the target for increasing vocabulary from the time a child starts talking is to add 1-2 new words per week.  I want to reiterate that using objects in daily living repeatedly and in a variety of ways is the best way  to increase vocabulary.

Please check out  www.interactivetherapy.net to get more information about the speech/language services that Interactive Therapy Inc. provides. Please view Interactive Therapy’s face book page at facebook.com/Interactive Therapy Inc. and twitter @Pamela Hass to view interesting posts about speech language pathology.  If you like what you see on face book, please like Interactive Therapy Inc.

Pamela Hass, Speech Language Pathologist

ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD’S LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT: PART 4

This is the last segment of “Encourage Your Child’s Language Development”. We have reviewed and discussed the following points: 1) Be an active listener. 2) Let your child talk without interruptions. 3) Reward your child’s speech attempts. 4) If you don’t understand your child, help your child communicate more clearly. 5) Give your child enough time to respond to you. 6) Give your child feedback when making a sound or word error.

The last three points are:
7) Decrease the pressure placed on your child to talk by limiting the number of activities to be done at one time. It may be too difficult for your child to play with toys and talk at the same time. The TV or music may be too much of a distraction. Avoid making your child “perform” in front of others. If you want to show how your child can count in front of Grandpa, count together. Make the experience fun for everyone.

8) Discourage the use of “bad” words by encouraging other types of expression. Kids know that “bad” words can be used to shock people and get attention! The best response is to avoid acting shocked and explain that people don’t like those words and you don’t want to hear them. It is important to let your child know that you understand the child’s feelings. Attempt to teach your child another way to express emotions, e.g. hit a pillow when mad and say acceptable words like “no!”; “not happy”; or just “mad”. This way, you are accepting your child’s feelings and language attempts and suggesting other words or actions that can be used instead of “bad” words.

9) Know what to expect of your child. Help your child communicate within the range of your child’s ability. If you have a good idea about what your child can and cannot do, you will not demand too much–or accept less. Knowing this information will save frustration for both you and your child.

You can have a tremendous influence on your child’s language development. It takes time, patience and a real effort on your part. The rewards will be worth it-for both you and your child.

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

Editing by Pamela Hass, M.A. C.C.C. Speech Language Pathologist
Interactive Therapy Inc , www.interactivetherapy.net

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