The question I’m asked the most often is, “How do I get my kid to start talking. In the next 3 days, I’ll provide the 3 main pieces of advice I’d give to parents/caregivers: (1) Ask fewer questions. When you ask, “Where is the cow,”
you’re... providing your child with an opportunity to point rather than use words. When you ask, “What is it,” your child will most likely provide a one-word response. Instead, talk about the objects your child brings you or picks up (talking about what they are interested in will encourage more skills). “Look at that cow. He is big. He lives on a farm. He says moo and eats grass.” You may modify the language used depending on the needs of your child. The idea here is to pause and have more of a dialogue with your child. By pausing, you’re providing your child with an opportunity to use verbal language. As soon as your child vocalizes (pairs sounds with objects) or uses words, increase your facial expression and reinforce what they have communicated (Your child says, “oo” to make the cow sound. You can respond with, “Moo says the cow.”). During that next interaction, plan on describing more and asking less. Let me know if you see a change. Tip 2 is coming tomorrow.
~Marena Mitchell, Speech-Language Pathologist
Daily tips, activities, and suggestions on how to naturally embed speech, language, play, fine motor, gross motor, and cognitive skills into your child's day, often using the materials already found in your home environment.
Marena Mitchell is a speech-language pathologist
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