Much of children’s language is influenced by communicating with friends and family members. As the numbers for Covid cases increase and the temperatures get colder, there is a good chance you will be at home more and more and the likelihood for gatherings and play dates are unlikely. Many parents may be worried their child who is a language delayed may be falling behind their peers or developmental expectations.
Children who are receiving speech therapy online, had therapy put on hold or never started because of the pandemic may be at a loss on how to help their children increase their verbal language. Here are some practical tips you can use now to help your child improve verbal communication when you are stuck at home due to the pandemic (or afterwards).
Copy everything your child does. Whatever sounds or actions your child does, copy it! They will get a kick out of an adult copying them. It will encourage them to interact with you more and encourages back and forth between you and your child.
Point to things and actions in the environment. If your child is not speaking or using one word, point to items in the environment so your child can learn new words. It can take up to 20 times before a word is learned. If you see actions like, ‘walking’, ‘jumping’, ‘scratching’, etc point those out to your child. If your child is more advanced in language output, still point to get their attention to an item or activity and have a discussion about it.
Play with your child. Engage with your child in activities your child enjoys. Have natural conversations based on the activity chosen.
Make a list of words. Pick no more than 5 words to focus on at a time. The list you make depends on the family and child. Pick words that are relevant to your child or words you think your child knows but isn’t saying. Any social greetings such as “hi” or “bye” they are not saying? Any titles or names that are important like “mama/ dada” or names of family members
Let me know if you have further questions related to improving your kid’s language. Contact us here or follow us on Instagram or Facebook by using the links at the bottom of the page.
Until next time…