Here are three techniques you can do to help nurture your child’s speech-language development. Who knows, you may be doing some of these without realizing it.
We’re not talking about strutting the catwalks during New York Fashion week, but simply providing your child with verbal examples. Children learn by what they see and hear – we model good behaviors for them, so it only makes sense that we’d do the same for speech and language skills.
If your child is pointing to milk and you say “milk,” then you’re modeling. By doing this throughout the day, your child will be exposed to a variety of new words and repetition. Take that supermodels!
When you expand upon your child’s speech, you are simply add on one word to whatever your child said.
Child – milk
Parent – milk please or more milk
Your child does not have to repeat “milk please” or “more milk” in order receive more milk. You just want your child to hear that more words can be added to the request.
You’ll always want to add one more word to whatever your child says. In this example, your child makes a two word request, so you respond with three words.
Child – milk please
Parent – more milk please
If you are doing regular household tasks or especially if you are doing something new to your child (replacing a lightbulb, frosting a cake or assembling furniture) give your child a running narration of what you are doing.
First, we have to turn off the light.
Then, we unscrew the lightbulb.
Next, we screw in the new lightbulb.
Now, let’s turn on the light!
Seeing the activity and hearing your description can teach your child new vocabulary words and learn sequencing steps.
Jann Fujimoto, MS CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and owner of SpeechWorks LLC. She has modeled (speech and language skills) since 1999. You can find her modeling, expanding and narrating at offices in Oconomowoc and Waukesha, as well as homes, daycares, afterschool programs throughout Lake Country.