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How to Stimulate Language

Here are several tips I give to every parent who comes through my office doors with a child who is language is delayed.

  • Follow your child’s lead, play what they want to play and how they want to play
  • Wait for your child to indicate what they want using a consistent form of communication rather than anticipating the need and meeting it right away.
  • Require consistent communication. This could mean a word, a sign, or a consistent sound or gesture. This does not include crying, pointing or grunting.
  • Talk about what you are doing and what your child is doing. Play the narrator. Label objects and describe actions, etc.
  • Keep your sentences short to match your child’s language ability. You should add 1 or 2 words for each word they use. (if your child uses 1 word phrases, speak to them using 2-3 word phrases).
  • If your child has a very consistent word or two they say, then when they say that word add a new word to the end or beginning and repeat it back to them (if they say ‘ball’, repeat back ‘big ball’ or ‘ball go’).
  • Always use choice questions rather than yes or no questions (‘do you want milk or juice?’ rather than ‘do you want milk?’)
  • Repeat simple words (please, more, again, mine, want, help, stop, all done, wait, mom, dad, baby, potty, go, eat, pop, etc.)
  • Incorporate sign language with verbal language. This is a proven method to increase your child’s verbal language. Even very simple signs can be easily incorporated. www.alspro.com
  • Be patient! Wait for your child to finish talking before you  respond.
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About Express Yourself SLP

Express Yourself Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) offers treatment, prevention, advocacy, education, and administration, in the areas of communication and swallowing from birth through 18 years of age These are the areas of speech, language and feeding I work on with chidlren in their own homes or in the community: Articulation – finding the right place in the mouth to make a sound like /s/ or /r/. Expressive Language – grammar, vocabulary development, and language development (this might be sign language or verbal language) Disfluency (stuttering) – decreasing and eliminating disfluency and concomitant behaviors associated with stuttering. Feeding – increasing food repetoire including textures, colors, and flavors. Receptive Language - comprehension of verbal or signed language Social Language – understanding and implementing expected social rules in play and conversation. This can be individually or in groups with peers Sessions are 50 minutes. Parents or caregivers must be present when sessions are in the home. If the caregiver would like a community outting, the child must be driven to the desired location by a caregiver or it should be within walking distance of the home. Parents or caregivers are also welcome and encouraged to join in community outtings.

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