It is important that an infant learns to pick up speech and language early on. Here are a few tips that will help in promoting your child’s speech and language development.
It is essential for you to look at your child’s face and eyes whenever talking or communicating with her. This way she will learn that it is imperative to look at people while communicating. Children get clues about shaping their mouth to pronounce words while looking at your face when you converse with them.
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The art of turn-taking is important to become a social communicator. You must talk to your child and then pause to give her some time to vocalise. This skill can also be worked upon while playing with your child.
Give your child opportunities
As your child is communicating with you, and you know what they want, give them time before you jump upon fulfilling their needs. This will give them the opportunity to verbalise, point, or even come up with a word.
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Giving choices to your child always helps them to become better communication partners. Choices provide your child with an opportunity to vocalise or attempt a word. The child feels confident by evincing her choices and hence is on the right path of further expansion of expressive language.
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You can begin with simple single step requests that only involve one element, such as ‘look’, ‘smile’ etc.Then increase to two elements when one element becomes easy for your child (i.e. “Sit down,” or “Touch your ears,” and so on).
Get into the habit of reading
You can read simple books to your child with one or two colourful pictures on each page. Then ask them questions that can be answered verbally or by pointing to the correct picture. Don’t demand a lot initially. If your child fails to reply or respond after 15 seconds, answer the question yourself.
Reward and Reinforce
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If your child comes up with an utterance resembling a word, praise and reward her and then model the correct target word which you think she attempted.For example, if the child says “daw” for doll, say “You said doll. Yes, it is a doll!”
Hunt for different occasions
Language can be learnt best from our surroundings. Hence it's best to make your little one a part of different novel situations and occasion so that she can pick up more and more language. A simple trip to the mall can be a great chance to help your child imbibe new words.
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Clarity of your child’s speech
Parents usually understand their kids’ speech more than strangers do. It might be an idea to observe how much do others understand your child’s speech.This will give you an idea as to how clearly your child is speaking. Children undergo a developmental phase while learning to talk.If you feel that your little one’s speech is unintelligible till the age of 3, consult a Speech Language Pathologist/Therapist.
Correct modelling of words
Pronounce your words clearly when you speak with your child. Talk slowly and remember to look directly at your child’s face. Although speech and language development varies with every child, a little extra support from the communicative partners in a child’s environment will ensure a smooth acquisition of speech
Always remember, parents are “Super heroes” for their kids. Children will emulate whatever their parents do and say. Implementing these aforementioned tips will aid all parents and care givers in communicating better with the little angels!
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