Since it is spring as well as Better Speech and Hearing Month, we would like to share a simple analogy with parents and teachers to help encourage speech and language development with infants and toddlers. Happy speech and language learning this spring!
Your speech should….
Simple but not “baby talk.” ~Example: Instead of saying “Put your big, blue shoes on the lower shelf when it is time to take a nap and remember to get your mat,” try “Get your mat. Put your shoes up for nap time.”
Pause so that child has time to respond. Reduce the number of questions asked to the child and tolerate silence in between communication exchanges.
Repeat the word you want the child imitate or say. Keep repeating it! ~Example for target word ball: “You have a ball. Let’s throw the ball. Ready, set, go! Throw the ball to me! That’s right! You threw the ball!.”
Interpret what the child says. Say a word another way that might be easier for the child to imitate.
Narrate and talk about what you are doing and what is going on at the time.
Gesture to try and supplement speech with visual gestures and facial expressions.