If you have ever noticed your child experiencing difficulty in picking up speech then you may worry about how they will cope later on in life and communicating their needs. Speech delay in children is something that will often need the assistance of a pediatric speech pathologist, but there are certain ways that you can help them to progress.
Here are some activities you can do at home to help with your child’s speech delay.
Asking questions about the day
If you have a child with speech delay, you can use almost any opportunity to help them to develop their speech further. Mainly by talking to them. As a parent it can be easy to speak for your child for them to get them to communicate their needs, but it is important to limit that. Ask them open questions such as ‘what would you like for breakfast?’ instead of ‘Would you like eggs?’. An open question leads to a conversation, rather a closed conversation giving you the answer you need and the answer you need only. Use every opportunity you can to get your child to use their words.
Singing and Playtime
Did you know that singing can help your child to develop their speech? Singing is a great way to encourage your little one to use their voice. Singing songs with actions helps to emphasize the use of words- songs such as ‘heads, shoulders, knees and toes’ are a great way of encouraging movement and the ability to identify the parts of the body through song will help to improve their confidence.
Games can be a wonderful way to share activities with others around them, too- which, in turn, encourages speech development- in particular imagination play where children play games mimicking the adult world around them-such as pretending to keep house, be at school, or have a job. These are all great ways to encourage sharing and for developing their speech through play.
Not only is sensory a fun and relaxing play activity, it can also help with your child’s speech development. Adding new toys that will help your child to pick up new words. Encourage them to make sounds through pretend play such as driving a car, or pretending to be an animal.
Sensory play can be done with items in your home, such as hiding small toys in tubs of rice. You can then encourage your children to talk about what the rice feels like between their fingers and on their hands, and how the rice sounds when it is shaken in a container.
Make bath time play time
Bath time not only signals the time your child settles down for bed, but it can also be a great learning experience. Some parents like telling stories and singing songs with their children in the bath, but using bath crayons will encourage color recognition and will spark conversation. The bath is also a great place to play games: ‘What can you see in the tub? A duck? What sound does a duck make?’
When your child has delayed speech, there are many things that can be done at home to encourage their development.
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