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
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