May is Better Speech and Hearing Month! Many children may have difficulties with one or more aspect of speech and/or language, and according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), early detection and intervention can often be the most effective.
Below are some helpful tips parents can use to promote speech and language skills at home:
- Communicative temptation: create situations where a child needs to gesture, vocalize, or verbalize to have his or her needs met before giving desired object (e.g., puzzle pieces)
- Imitation: having a child imitate you helps him or her to produce words and sounds at appropriate times (e.g., saying “hi” to animal toys as you take them out of the box)
- Expanding: using a child’s language and expanding it to make it more complex (e.g., child says “ball,” adult can say, “that is your ball!”)
- Build vocabulary: target and explain relevant new words (e.g., seasonal words ) to help build vocabulary
- Read aloud: emphasize and reinforce new words, ask questions about the story while reading, ask child to retell the story (if age appropriate)
- Ask questions: posing questions about daily activities are a great way to encourage language skills, including naming and understanding functions
- Narrate Everything: modeling your own speech and language can increase exposure to correct production and enhance a child’s abilities
If you suspect your child may have difficulties with speech or language, a licensed speech-language pathologist can help. We can provide free speech-language screenings and further comprehensive evaluations to determine how we can best help your child blossom! Click here to contact us now!