3 Ways to Encourage Language in Early Childhood

Speech language pathology can help your child!A child’s first word is an important milestone most parents eagerly look forward too. However, what happens after that is just as important, as your child builds their vocabulary and learns to communicate effectively. While all children develop in their own way, there are some general speech and language milestones that are typical for most children. If you think your child might be a little behind schedule, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is a communication disorder, but it may be a good idea to schedule a speech and language evaluation to rule out any potential problems. There are also things you can do at home to encourage language and communication development. Take a look at our three tips below!

  1. Narrate: To help your child connect language to real-word events and ideas, narrate as you go about your daily routine, especially with younger or language-delayed children. For example, during bath time you might use phrases like, “Here’s the soap!” or “Your toes are all clean!”
  2. Get on Their Level: Some parents have a tendency to speak to their children in adult-like speech complexity. While children can typically understand more than they can say, modeling speech just slightly above their level can help them to improve their language skills. If your child is using two-word questions and phrases, you can increase your level by also using two-word phrases, but incorporating new vocabulary. You could also stick with words within your child’s vocabulary, but use 3-4 word phrases to model increased complexity.
  3. Repeat and Expand: Another way to help your child increase their language output is to repeat phrases they say and then expand with more language. For example, if your child says, “Nice doggy,” you might say, “Yes! Nice doggy. Nice soft doggy. What a good doggy.”

Do you think your child may need help developing speech and language? Give us a call! For information on our New York based Speech-Language Pathology services, please call Speech Associates of New York today at (212) 308-7725 or visit our website at http://www.speechassociatesofny.com and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help!

© 2015, Speech Associates of New York – All Rights Reserved

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