Repetition,modelling and consistency are KEY aspects toward achieving improved speech and language skills. YOU can play a citical role in carrying over the skills we teach in therapy by utilizing these strategies at home with your child. Below you will find some simple strategies that you can use every day to support your child's speech and language skills.
1. Model proper language and sentence structure when speaking. (ie refrain from using slang and sentence fragments).
2. Insure that your child is cued in before you speak. (you have their attention, they are looking at you).
3. Break down complex directions into simple steps for clarification
4. Check for understanding after giving directions. (ask your child "What did I just say", "Tell me in your own words what I want you to do".)
5. Use visual cues when possible. ( show a picture, write down directions)
6. Practice sequencing skills with your child by asking them to explain a daily activity or event. (ask them about their day, review a recipe while in the kitchen).
7. Be a good listener! ( give your child your undivided attention)
8. Introduce vocabulary and common idioms by using them in context.(from newspaper articles, media etc, Did you know you are the apple of my eye? That means I love you so much. We need to conserve natural resources. That means we will take 5 minute showers from now on the save water.)
9. Read with your child and have them read to you!
10. Make sure your child understands the importance "non-verbal" language skills. This means knowing that their facial expression and body language should match their intent. In addition,there are physical parameters to be aware of that play an important role in communication. Don't be a "space invader". Make sure you do not get too close to someone during conversation. It is critical to be able to read another persons non-verbal cues for effective communication. Did you know that the majority of all communication is NON-VERBAL?