Tips for talking!!

Recently I wrote about my son and his lack of talking skill! Read about it here.

In response to it I got some great tips from both a friend’s sister (a speech and language therapist) and a friend is South Africa who studied “Psychology of Education – Intellectual Development in the Early Childhood” (check out her website here) – 2 people well placed to give a little advice!

Here some of it is:

  • Dont try to make them talk i.e. ‘can you say this’
  • Do look at lots of picture books and name things, it’s more about the pictures than the words! Interact and point to things whilst reading.
  • Use lots of single words when you chat with them
  • Use lots of sounds when you play e.g. animal noises, car sounds etc
  • Use gestures when you communicate
  • Offer different choices – i.e. show an apple and a banana, name them and ask which they want. Even if they don’t use the word it is still encouraging communication
  • Anything they do say, be enthusiastic about and repeat it back  (if they pronounce it wrong, repeat back but with correct pronunciation)
  • Play a 5 minute 1:1 game with her everyday, away from noise and other distractions.
  • Be intentional with your words – name everything that you are in contact with – use colours and describing words pass me the big blue ball etc.
  • Give instructions to listen and follow through with – please go to the kitchen and fetch your yellow ball etc.
  • Encourage babbling – children LOVE to do make-believe adult things – they will want to copy what he sees you doing! So let him talk on a play phone, sweep the house, feed one of Jenna’s dolly’s, bath the doll, etc. While he is doing this, he will most likely chat away in his language.

It’s important to train and strengthen the mouth muscles in preparation for talking: Blow bubbles in the water in the bath

  • Blow bubbles through a straw (with some dishwashing liquid in a bowl) – this will make loads of bubbles that they will love
  • Play games where you say something and they mimic this
  • Look in the mirror and copy facial expressions and sounds (it helps if you wear red lipstick as this is so much more noticeable).
  • Play instruments – let them blow into things to make a noise! They will love cause and effect games = if I blow this it makes a specific sound.. etc

Some of it we already did but it’s always good to be reminded and get some new ideas for things to do! Thanks so much to everyone who gave advise! Here’s hoping this little bit of advice can help someone else and encourage them!

Even since I wrote the blog post Carter’s speaking has improved.  He is so much more motivated to actually try to form words and he has got another few words in his repertoire.