7 Tips in Promoting Language for Early Communicators

1. Describe

Whether you’re driving in the car or at the Zoo, use descriptors and describe what you are seeing around you. Expose your child to a language enriched environment.

2. Recast and Expand

For example, if your child says “car” you would repeat the word your child says and then expand the phrase by adding another word, “green car” or “my car”.

3. Repetition

While playing a game you may repeat the phrase many times with the goal being a a spontaneous (says it by themselves without repeating you) production from your child . This gives your child an opportunity to hear and practice a word more than one time.

4. Wait

Give your child a chance to respond.

5. Model At Your Child’s Language Level

During play when you’re modeling language for your child to imitate, make sure to keep the phrases at their language level. For example, if your child speaks in one word phrases, you may want to model only one-two word phrases until they are consistent at that level then start to model two-three word phrases and so forth.

6. Pick Toys Where Your Child May Need Help

We call this setting up communicative temptations. Putting toys in a box where the child has to say “open”, toys where they may need “help”, putting toys out of reach.

7. Acknowledge You Hear Your Child

A child who is delayed in language may use a lot of jargon or babble and may get frustrated when you don’t understand that they are trying to say “I want the ice cream”. At least we can acknowledge “I hear you” or “I hear you talking” or “I want…” (if that is all you can understand).

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