December 23, 16
Tips for Speech and Language Development
Practical Tips to Support Speech & Language Development
Language is all around us and it is language that affords us the ability to communicate. Whether through gestures, signs, pictures, or spoken words, language – the ability to understand and express information – is the foundation for communication. Speech-Language Pathologists may work with children in a structured setting but it is collaboration with parents that provides a child with opportunities to practice and expand his or her language. Throughout the day, unstructured situations present themselves and can be moments for parents to support language development, whether the child is developing typically or is having difficulty. The following is a list of tips (non-prioritized) that can be used in many situations:
1. Provide the child with experiences that allow them to create concepts for themselves (not just telling them about something). Concepts build upon one another (for example, a simple ball is – a big ball, a red ball, a ball that you catch, throw or kick, a ball that bounces and rolls). Provide opportunities for exploration and play. Use already acquired concepts to help a child learn new concepts.
2. Observe the child’s body language. Whatever they are looking at or reaching for — that is communication. Provide a brief description: “Oh, you want the puzzle.”
3. It is beneficial to describe what a child is seeing, hearing and/or doing, but don’t “overload” with too many words. Keep it short and simple.
Remember to keep it fun !!
When learning to communicate, the understanding of what is being heard and the ability to express oneself must be motivating and enjoyable.
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