Friday, October 14, 2011

Lessons in Speech Therapy: How to improve your child's speech

So last Friday I wrote about my youngest son starting Group Speech Therapy. 

Quite a few of you voiced concerns about your own children's speech developement and were interested to know how I got on so I thought it would be useful to share the main tips and tricks I've learned so far.

So, my top tips for speech developments are:

1. Make them choose.
Always offer a choice, even when the answer is obvious. For example Do you want the apple or the biscuit? Do you want water or blackcurrent? Do you want lentils or Super Noodles. (Obviously mine always choose the apple, water, lentils). Make your child say which one they want rather than allowing them to point.

2. From one word to two.
Gradually increase their word count, eg. Do you want the green apple or the brown biscuit, etc.

3.  Don't mind their manners.
Don't focus too much on 'please' and 'thank you' as you want to develop your childs knowledge of words and how to say them, not just always focusing on a couple of mannerly phrases.

4. Nouns to Verbs.
As parents we tend to focus on the nouns. 'I'm picking up the ball...Can you say ball?' or 'I'm washing my hands...Can you say hands?'.  That's all well and good but as your child develops we need to focus on the action words too ie 'I'm picking up the ball' or 'I'm washing my hands'. The more they hear these words the easier it is for them to repeat them, so constantly point to and repeat action words in books or even just as you go about your daily business.

5. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Repeating words constantly for your child to hear is very important, as is getting them to repeat the words themselves. It doesn't have to be perfect - as long as they're trying that's good enough.

So that's it for the moment - hope it helps. Would love to know if you try any of them out and how you get on.

More medical related posts from blogs I love:

Hip Dysplasia - Emma and 3
Sensory Processing - The Sensory Seeker

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