When it comes to speech therapy, it can be frustrating for children as well as their parents if the child does not appear to be making progress. Whether your child has non-existent or limited language skills or the problem is simply a matter of pronunciation, one important thing to remember is that progress can take time, patience, and repetition.
Here are a few things you can do at home to help with your child's speech therapy.
- Continue to talk. Even if your child does not respond, continue talking to the child. Hearing language helps the child understand how to say words.
- Say words correctly. While baby talk might have been cute when the child was a baby, continuing to use it as the child gets a little older may add to language problems.
- Correct your child's language skills in a kind way. Children who struggle to speak correctly may get discouraged if they are corrected constantly and in a way that makes them feel like they are doing something wrong. For example, if your child struggles with the "r" sound, instead of saying, "No, it's read, not wed," use the word "read" in a response to the child. When using the word, emphasize the part of the word the child is saying incorrectly.
- Encourage discussions. Initiate conversations that require the child to use words or sounds that the child struggles to say correctly.
- Celebrate the child's language victories. Even just saying one word correctly is a huge victory for a child who had no language skills. Once the child has learned a word or a sound, encourage the child to continue to use that word or sound.
- Make it fun. For example, one family recently shared how their 19-month-old son's first word was "Google" thanks to the family's Google Home. The boy loves to hear the device make animal sounds. If it's fun, the child will want to talk.
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