New Year, New You! Time to Facilitate Speech and Language at Home!

Happy New Year!! Let’s jump right into 2015 with some tips to encourage speech and language development for your child. The American Speech-Language Hearing Association provides helpful tips to facilitate speech and language! Check it out! Below I have expanded on and modified speech and language tips that you can do with your child at home.

“The basic building block of good communications is the feeling that every human being is unique and of value.”- Unknown

Birth-2 Years

  • TALK OUT LOUD! Talk about what you are doing when you bathe, prepare food, and/or dress your child. Let your child listen to what you’re saying and hear your intonation. When you ask a question be sure to raise the pitch of your voice at the end of a sentence. Be animated, and have fun!
  • Reinforce attempts to maintain eye contact. Get your child to look at you when you’re speaking. Make funny faces and silly sounds to catch your child’s attention and maintain eye contact.
  • Imitate your child’s laughter and facial expressions; this is a form of nonverbal communication.
  • Teach your child to imitate your actions. Play peek-a-boo, clap your hands, and/or blow kisses. This is another form of nonverbal communication that facilitates turn taking.
  • Introduce animal sounds in order to link a sound with a specific meaning.
  • Read to your child. Allow your child to follow along by looking at the pictures.
  • Expand on your child’s single words.

2 to 4 Years

  • Use clear speech for your child to model. You are your child’s role model.
  • Expand on what your child says. For example, “Me cookie.”… you can say “Oh you want a cookie for dessert?”
  • Help your child to understand the world around him/her and ask questions. Play the ‘Yes’/ ‘No” game- ‘Are you a boy?” “Is your name Steve?” “Do cars fly?” “Do frogs moo?” Ask your child questions them to think!
  • Ask questions that require choices- ‘Do you want vanilla ice cream or chocolate ice cream?’
  • Sing simple songs to facilitate language.
  • Use photographs of familiar people/places and talk about who is in the picture and where it takes place.

4 to 6 Years

  • Try to give your child your full attention when they are attempting to tell a story
  • Show your child that you understand what he/she is saying
  • Do not always correct your child’s speech or language errors. This will cause them to feel insecure when speaking. Instead praise what they did or said that is correct. Inconsistently add feedback and corrections.
  • Introduce a new word casually in a sentence. Use it in a simple context. “I’m going to put the flowers in that pretty new vase I just got.”
  • Speak about spatial relationships (up/down/in/out/over/under)
  • Play games such as “House” or “School”- Role play with the child. Role playing allow the child to have a different perspective of communication and really facilitates language.
  • Watch television with your child. Talk about what he/she is watching. Make predictions about the show. Talk about the characters emotions
  • Take advantage of daily activities (ie. washing your hands, brushing your teeth, getting dressed, making dinner) Facilitate language through these situations.
  • Take advantage of long car trips. Use the time to have “Scavenger Hunts.”  Have your child locate items that start with the letter ‘P’ or items that are made of metal.

(American Speech-Language Hearing Association, 2015)

Happy New Year!

Pamela Leibowitz 🙂

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