Every child communicates. Yesterday, I shared ideas on what communication might look in different children (facial expressions, body movements, sounds, words, etc.). Understanding WHY your child is communicating
is also important. A speech-language pathologist calls these the “functions” of communication and, when interacting with children, it’s important to see a variety of functions. Children communicate to express FEELINGS (baby crying out when he is hungry or wants to be held), to PROTEST (child moving their head when offered another bite to eat), to ASK questions (voice may go up while saying “Mommy?” to ask where mommy is), to LABEL (a child that calls a man in the grocery store “dada”), to ANSWER questions (nodding the head when you ask them if they want music), to COMMENT (saying “uh oh” when they drop a toy), and to GREET/FAREWELL (waving hi and goodbye). Even if your child may not have “words,” they are communicating. During your next interaction, pay attention to WHAT they are communicating. ~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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