How Parents Can Help With Speech & Language Development
Speech and language development is critically important in the overall
development of a child. It is the most important basic skill, so...
• Use clear speech when talking to your child, and be a good listener when he
talks to you.
• Praise your child for good speech and language. Make talking pleasurable
• Be patient if your child’s speech is not perfect. Impatience may cause him to
become self-conscious and to avoid speaking.
• Do not constantly criticize or correct your child’s speech, and do not allow others
to do so either.
• Give your child a chance to get what he wants by using speech. Do not
respond too quickly to gestures that the child uses in place of speech.
• Play with sounds. Take turns copying each other’s sounds. Make sounds that
resemble the noises made by playthings and animals.
• Play games to help your child gain motor control of his tongue. Have him move
his tongue quickly from side to side, use it to try to touch his nose and his
chin, stick it in and out quickly, blow “raspberries”.
• Demonstrate sounds. Have your child look in the mirror as he tries to make
his sounds like you do.
• Point out the sounds in words. Let your child listen and watch you say words
containing specific sounds. It’s alright to exaggerate the sounds at first.
• Choose one sound at a time to concentrate on. Don’t try to correct all of your
child’s speech sound errors at once.
• Begin practicing with sounds that are easier to produce. Those sounds are
the ones that can be easily copied because their place and manner of
production are easy to see and / or feel.
• Pick short periods of time to work on improvements. Your child should
consider the practice to be “play”, not “work”.
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