Incorporate Speech Into Your Daily Routines
As we reach the end of January, conversations about our New Year’s Resolutions are fading off, as are many of our resolutions themselves. Some popular resolutions include eating healthier, exercising more, or picking up a new hobby. However, some of the most impactful resolutions can be easily integrated in our existing routines. An easy way to start is with the people we love most, the adorable children in our lives. Along with SLPs, a child’s home environment and family play an integral role in the development of their language. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, sibling or cousin, you have the opportunity to help a child in your life grow exponentially. Some of the best ways to help a child’s language improve are also the most simple, but it’s important to take the time to make sure you are encouraging the development of your child. Below are five simple but imperative ways to help your child’s speech and language skills soar.
1. Read With Your Child
Reading should be interactive. Try reading with your child as opposed to reading to them. Books with lots of pictures, and even bright colors, will engage your child and keep them interested. Bonus points for pointing at the words as you read them, which raises print awareness, an important skill for both literacy and language development. Ask them questions about the characters in the book, or what they think will or should happen next in the plot.
2. Correct Them Correctly
Try not to criticize your child’s mispronunciations or mistakes. Instead, repeat their phrase with the correct grammar and articulation. And don’t forget to give them a lot of praise and encouragement for their attempts!
3. Take Turns
Taking turns is important in virtually every aspect of life, and communication is no exception. When talking to a child, try to ask them lots of questions that are open ended, as opposed to simple yes or no questions. Not only will this allow and encourage them to expand their vocabulary, but it will also showcase what they know, and you will be able to discern whether their speech and language skills are at the appropriate level for their age. If you never converse with your child, you won’t know if their speech and language development is on track!
4. Play Games
Many language skills correlate to skills children showcase while playing games. Play encourages kids to use their imaginations, take turns, get creative, and use descriptive language. Children also learn how to both give and follow directions through play. Children playing house will direct each other on how they want the scenarios to play out, and who should play what character. A game of Guess Who encourages children to use adjectives and deductive reasoning. Every game has at least a few aspects that can encourage language development in children.
5. Be Descriptive
When reading, go beyond simply reading the words printed on the page. Say “That red apple looks so shiny and delicious!” This engages the child, along with teaching them new words. When going somewhere new, make a point to describe a few objects to the child, like a blue sign at the grocery store, or the pink flower in the garden. These small efforts make a tremendous difference in the speech and language development of a child.
There is no doubt that children spend their most formative years with their families. Children have a tremendous amount of growth in speech and language during their infant, toddler, and preschool years. It is essential for caregivers to realize their role in the successful development of their child. And luckily for those of us juggling multiple responsibilities, it’s easy to integrate these methods into activities you are already doing with your child. Although it is a few weeks into the New Year, it is never too late to begin your resolution.
Abigail Shimanovich is a volunteer at HASA.
Want more information about promoting speech goals at home? Contact us at 410.318.6780 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Blog section
- Accent Modification, Accent Reduction
- Adult Aural Rehabilitation
- Apraxia of Speech in Adults
- Apraxia of Speech in Children
- Assistive Technology
- Auditory Processing Disorders
- Aural Rehabilitation for the Treatment of Speech Disorders in Children
- Hearing Aids for Children
- Cochlear Implants
- Hearing Aids
- Hearing Loss in Adults
- Hearing Loss in Children
- Hearing Protection
- Language-Based Learning Disabilities
- Speech Sound Disorders
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Voice Disorders