No matter how your child is developing, here are a few things all parents can do to encourage those little ones to start chatting away!

 

Provide Extended Wait Time

 

Pause routines and try not to anticipate needs to facilitate communication. Stopping and waiting during familiar activities (ex. “Ready, set, ___ ”) can encourage a child to initiate speech. 

 

Give Choices

​Providing visual and verbal choices for your child can encourage communication and provide a model for your child to imitate, reinforcing vocabulary, language, and speech skills.  Snack time is an easy opportunity to allow your child to make choices.

 

Give Your Child a Task That Requires Assistance

Present your child with a task he/she can't do alone (ex. place a snack in a container your child can't open or place a preferred toy/food item/etc. within view but out of reach).  This encourages your child to initiate communication by asking for help or requesting the desired item.

 

Use Self-Talk and Parallel Talk

 

Talking about objects and events around you and your child during play or even during routines (ex. driving in the car/meal time/bath time) increases vocabulary and awareness of your child’s environment.  Self-talk is narrating what you’re doing, and parallel talk is narrating or talking about what your child is doing.

 

Worried your little one isn't talking as much as they could or should be? Give us a call! One of our Speech-Language Pathologists would love to discuss this with you.

 

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