Speech-Language Pathology: The Importance Of Intervention | Cincinnati Children's
How to Develop Your Children's Speech and Language Skills Through Play and Positive Daily Interaction
Avoid the TV.You are doing your child a disservice if you have spare time, but put them in front of the TV. There are a few (and only a few!!) children's TV programs that are in any way educational. Your child is more likely to learn about things from one-to-one playtime with his parent or carer. TV and video games are passive entertainment and do not encourage any interaction. Studies now show that children who watch too much TV in their early years are more likely to have difficulties with attention and listening when they reach school age.
Ditch the pacifier.There is also evidence to show that if the child uses a dummy/pacifier their speech can be delayed.Speech can be delayed because the child is speaking less and the development of the child's oral musculature may be affected by maintaining an immature sucking pattern, appropriate for an infant, but not for a child who is getting ready to eat and speak. .
Build an environment that helps language flourish.Building a language rich environment is about using every opportunity to use language, to interact, to share a focus, to talk, to take turns. Building a language rich environment is also about building a nurturing environment, giving your child love and affection and building their self-confidence. And finally, it is about building a learning environment, creating a place where love, language and learning can all take place together. So what do you do to create this environment? Well firstly look at yourself and how you are communicating:
- Remember your language level - One of the biggest things to be aware of when using language around your young child is the level and complexity of the language you use. Think about their age and how much language they use. A young child will generally understand more words than he uses in speech. You can use a milestones chart to have a broad idea of your child's language level. Assuming your child is developing along normal lines think about where to pitch you language. For instance, if your child is aged 2 years and 6 months and is able to follow a short instruction containing 2 key words, be mindful of this when you talk to her. If you use long sentences she will not understand you. If your child does have difficulty understanding, just use key words, more intonation, and gesture, or point as you say the words.
- When talking to your child, try to talk about things that are in context or that the child can see, so they can use these things as a reference. Talk slowly and put emphasis on the key words if they are in a sentence, and use lots of intonation to help emphasize meaning. Give the child more time to respond than you would with older children or an adult. Younger children may need a little longer to process your speech and formulate an answer of their own. This is even more important if your child has difficulties acquiring language. If your child has language difficulties, or receptive language delay, limiting your words, giving them lots of time to process language, and using lots of gesture is essential.
Take a step back and feed in language.You can enhance your child's development of language by sometimes taking a step back during play and letting them take the lead. This gives the child control of their environment and builds their confidence. Although you are still involved in the play you are not dictating what is happening. However, you can still be feeding language into the play as it is happening. So the takeaway here is not to feel you have to fill in any gaps of silence, just watch and listen and add language. For instance, if your daughter is playing with her dolls, just watch, add language to her words and dictate some of her actions.
- Chloe: dolly tea
- Mum: the dolly's drinking tea, and that one is having a sandwich
- Chloe: sandwich
- Mum: mmm sandwich, what's it got in it…jam, a jam sandwich mmm
- Chloe: mmmm sandwich
- Mum: mmmmm jam sandwich yummy
- Chloe: more tea
- Mum: more tea for dolly and teddy is drinking tea too
- Chloe: cake
- Mum: oooh, are they getting cake too, yummy
- Chloe: yummy cake
- Mum: yum yum yum eating lots of cake (rubs tummy)
- This is a simple example and although mum is only adding a few new words she is acknowledging her daughter's words and she is expanding on her sentences. Chloe can hear her words being put into longer more grammatical sentences and a couple of verbs are added (eating and drinking). Chloe remains in charge throughout the game, she leads the game and the dictates what is happening. This situation allows her control so there is no pressure on her to communicate and the communication environment is a relaxed and nurturing place.
Be conscious of the language you use during play.Children do not learn language by having an adult continually asking them to name various items. Children learn by hearing words and linking them to things. So it is a good idea to feed language into play, rather than asking your child to name every toy they are playing with. Adding language is an easy thing to do and can be done in all types of different situations, not just play. You can comment on what the child sees, commentate on what your child is doing, or expand on what they have said e.g.:
- Child: car
- Adult: that's right, it's a car, a fast car; or
- Adult: that's right, it's a car, a red car,and there is a blue car
- Child: cat
- Adult: yes, the cat is climbing (gesture the actions, and emphasize the key words cat and climbing)
Consider that the other way to add language is to describe what your child is doing during play.For instance, if your daughter is playing with her dolls in the dolls house, give a little commentary:
- Jane: dolly
- Dad: dolly's going in the house
- Jane: sit
- Dad: dolly's sitting down
- Jane: drink
- Dad: dolly's got a cup, she is drinking tea drink tea
- Jane: tea
- Dad: yes, dolly is drinking tea… and now she is eating cake
Avoid asking a question.The temptation here is to ask a question, such as “what is dolly doing” or “what is dolly drinking”. This immediately puts the emphasis on the child, and they then have to stop their play and respond. By just commenting, you are not putting any pressure on your child to communicate so the play is more relaxed. The child is also able to play on their own terms and control the game.
Pretend play.Pretend play is another great way to develop your child's imagination and add lots of language at the same time. Letting your child lead the game also gives them a sense of control and can build self confidence. Here is an example of how a dad and his son pretend to be firemen and all the different ways that this can be educational for the child (see below):
- Example 1. - Firemen - You are a dad and you have 15 minutes to spend with your 4-year old son. You decide to be firemen and imagine that you have got a call to put out a fire in a big building. Firstly let’s think about the Language we will be using:
- Example 2. Dress up for the ball
Observe body language and gesture usage.Try to use body language and gesture when you speak. This helps the child understand what you are saying, but it may also teach them to do the same so that they can make themselves understood more effectively. Body language plays a huge part in helping others gain meaning from what we say, this is a good skill for children to learn, especially if their speech is not clear in the early years.
Answer questions.Children are inquisitive and it is important to always take the time to answer their questions. Answering questions creates a 2-way communication process, because you both have a turn and you both have to wait and use good listening skills. Sometimes children go through a phase of asking “why” in response to everything you say. If this becomes a habit (rather than a genuine question), respond with your answer and then ask them a question. This creates a turn-taking opportunity and at the same time making the child to respond to a question. If you want your children to learn language and develop speech and social skills - TURN OFF THE TV AND TALK TO THEM AND PLAY WITH THEM!
Video: Childhood Speech and Language Delays
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Date: 03.12.2018, 02:21 / Views: 92141