Tips for helping speech delayed children speak
Other than the first few common words like “mama” or “dada” spoken by most babies, there is a lot of pressure on these little ones to make it through this world. Even with the first step they take or the first proper sentence that they say, it’s always rough on the parents when something about their baby is not on schedule. No amount of reading baby books quite prepares you for those moments really. According to Diane Paul-Brown, PhD, other than the exceptional cases when it is somewhat serious for an evaluation of your child’s language and speech, there is no need for much alarm as most kids develop at their own pace.
Experts believe that at 12 months of age, most children are able to say single words or be able to understand and make small requests (“I want my toy”). Within the end of the 3rd year a child can follow instructions in two or three steps and identify most common of all objects. By age four or five, curiosity is expected from a child by asking questions like why and should be able to recount an entire story with their own words.
Other than seeking professional help about your child’s speech therapy, there are some things you can try out at home, because after all, you know your child the best.
- Magnets on your refrigerator: the magnets will signify his/her favorite things like cereal and he can point it out to you when he/she wants them (fair warning: make sure about the choking hazard part).
- Switch it off if not in use momentarily: It is a common practice that even when no one’s watching the TV remains on with some random channel. This, believe it or not, creates a hell lot of background noise. Unlike us adults, kids are sensitive to all kinds of noises.
- Signing: This interactive session with your child using sign language for the big things like Mom, Dad, mine and even a little bit of manners can be added, say please or thank you!
- Flash Cards: May not work sometimes but you can either make them at home or buy them at the store. Simple day to day objects should be named by the child or you and then the cards be shown to them. Labeling goes a long way for your child as it helps them to pick up on words much faster.
- Daily reading: Few kids happen to develop good reading habits from a very young age but it is important that you allot a certain amount of time in your schedule where you will read out to your child small and simple stories. While you read you can show it to them and this helps a ton if you happen to have picture books at home. Picture books with their colorful images and a few small sentences in one page go a long way in helping your child.
- Toys: It is important for your kid to have toys but selecting the right one needs a little help sometimes. Moving toys like small cars or big balls even inside the house is a good way to go. Having a little playground in your backyard made of tunnels and little forts are helpful at times. And most importantly, always remember that even children feel overwhelmed with too many toys being showered upon them. This will hamper their concentration as well as their language skills. Give them the space that they need. Less is always
- Bravo!: Incentives are important for any human being, whether you’re a kid a or an adult. A little praise can go a long way.