If you feel that your 1 or 2 year old’s communication skills are delayed, do not “wait it out” or stay paralyzed in fear. In addition to contacting a Speech Language Pathologist, you can set aside 2-3 times a day to work on your child’s communication skills. Below are some ways you can work on your child’s communication in the home:
- Talk while doing things and going places. When taking a walk in the stroller, for example, point to familiar objects (e.g., cars, trees, and birds) and say their names. “I see a dog. The dog says ‘woof.’ This is a big dog. This dog is brown.”
- Use simple but grammatical speech that is easy for your child to imitate.
- Take a sound walk around your house or in the baby’s room. Introduce him/her to Timmy Clock, who says “t-t-t-t.” Listen to the clock as it ticks. Find Mad Kitty Cat who bites her lip and says “f-f-f-f” or Vinnie Airplane who bites his lip, turns his voice motor on and says “v-v-v-v.” These sounds will be old friends when your child is introduced to phonics in preschool and kindergarten.
- Make bath time “sound playtime” as well. You are eye-level with your child. Play with Peter Tugboat, who says “p-p-p-p.” Let your child feel the air of sounds as you make them. Blow bubbles and make the sound “b-b-b-b.” Feel the motor in your throat on this sound. Engines on toys can make a wonderful “rrr-rrr-rrr” sound.
- Expand on words. For example, if your child says “car,” you respond by saying, “You’re right! That is a big red car.”
- Continue to find time to read to your child every day. Try to find books with large pictures and one or two words or a simple phrase or sentence on each page. When reading to your child, take time to name and describe the pictures on each page.
- Have your child point to pictures that you name.
- Ask your child to name pictures. He or she may not respond to your naming requests at first. Just name the pictures for him or her. One day, he or she will surprise you by coming out with the picture’s name.
Pamela Rowe Speech Therapy of Jacksonville is here to help. Contact us for more information.