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.