Monday, July 8, 2019

Speech and Language Stimulation in Young Children

If you have young children living with you or visiting you frequently, you may want to help them develop good speech and language. There are many ways to stimulate speech and language development in young children. These techniques can be used informally during play, on family outings and in casual conversation. Use these techniques to provide a model for the child rather than asking the child to repeat or imitate what you say.

Feedback: Repeat what the child says, but say it correctly.
Child:  Nanna shoe all wet.
Adult:  Oh, Nanna's shoe is all wet!
Child:  Him falled down.
Adult:  He fell down.
Expansion: Repeat what the child says and add a little more.
Child:  Her eat ice cream.
Adult:  She is eating a big ice cream cone. It looks good!
Child:  Doggy!
Adult:  A big, black doggy!
Self-Talk: Talk about what you are doing. Children learn language by hearing it.
Adult:  I am watering my flowers. They need water to grow.
Parallel-Talk: Talk about what the child is doing or may be thinking.
Adult:  You are putting a pretty dress on your doll.
                                Your dolly has so many pretty clothes.
Past Talk: Talk about what has just happened.
Adult:  Uh oh, your tower fell down.
                                You built a big tower with your blocks!
Naming: Say the names of things and actions. Point to objects. This is very easy to do with picture books.
Adult:  I see a big red apple.
                               And here are some green grapes. What do you see?

                               This boy is running fast. Tell me about the girl.

General Suggestions:

1. Tune in to what the child is interested in and what he or she wants to talk about. 
2. Ask open-ended questions: 


How was school today?
What is this? (dog)
What is the boy doing?


What happened at school today?
Tell me about the dog.
What is happening? 

3. Reinforce new responses.
E.g.: You said a new word; that's great!
       Good talking. You can say so many words. 

4. Read aloud to the child. The close, nurturing relationship established during reading aloud helps the child develop a love of reading as he learns to read himself. There is an excellent book written on this subject, The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. 

5. Keep talking fun and don't pressure the child to talk or repeat what you say. 

6. If you suspect a speech or hearing problem, consult a pediatrician who can refer the child for a hearing test or speech & language evaluation. Very young children and babies can be tested for hearing loss, so don't delay! 

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