Speech can be taken for granted. When you have a child enter a daycare setting who lacks language skills and obviously Wants to talk to you, it’s a challenge. But with time, patience and practice, it can change. It will not happen overnight. Connections must be made and it’s all part of the process of learning. Single syllables become longer, more complicated words. Those words start combining with other words to become sentences. The most fantastic part is the look in their eyes when they realize you understand them. Talk about unexpected rewards. I’m not sure I can explain my elation when I see it happening. And having the parents come in the door and have a conversation with their child about their day? If you know anything about a parent’s love, then I need say no more.
Reading to children is the #1, most important way to expand that speech. How you choose to read is one of the finer points I’d like to discuss as well as some other little tidbits.
- Recordings of reading/talking to play back. (Yes, buy a tape recorder or use that app on your phones)
- Sounds of animals Must be vocalized in All stories, I don’t care how you fit it in.
- Singing is a fear of many adults. But 2 to 5 year olds never criticize a voice so just chime on in. (You will never hear me on Idol or the Voice, trust me)But sing those stories and nursery rhymes when you get the chance. They will RemembeR them.
- Look into their eyes, the key to the soul.
- Have conversations. When they hear you talking to them or to others, they are listening and absorbing. You know how a child picks up curse words when you least expect it? Well it’s the same way with conversations. They Are Hearing You.
- Do things repetitively. Count, say ABC’s, Name objects over and over and over. This can be during any time of their day. Putting on shoes, washing hands, dancing.
- Hum. Make all kinds of vocalizations
- Keep other children around for playdates if you are a stay at home mother. Social skills and speech go hand in hand.
- Remember reading doesn’t have to be in a book. There are labels all around us. In home, at the store, while driving down the road. What child doesn’t recognize a McDonald’s sign.
- That gossip you heard in the office??? Well try using that concept while holding a phone to your ear and pretending to talk to your child. (I know I don’t have to remind you to keep it Rated G)
- Keep it fun. If they get “that look”, let it go for awhile and come back to it a different way.
Can you imagine doing your most favorite thing in the world and someone interrupts you to do something that frustrates you? This is a child playing contentedly with toys and in pops this adult who wants them to start naming objects on flashcards. Keep it real and they’ll blossom before your eyes.
I’m participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge 2014. Check out some of the other bloggers at this link.