Speak Out Newsletter Vol. 1 Issue 1

Posted on June 27, 2016 by brannspeechtherapy

Tips To Improve Speech and Language Skills: A Parent’s Guide

As parents, you play a very important role in your child’s speech development. You are your child’s first and most important teacher, so you have a great impact on these skills. It is important to recognize when your child needs help in communicating. Since children develop skills at their own pace, each one will be a bit different in learning to speak (For specific ages for development, see below “When Should my Child be Saying That?”).

One of the most important skills you can help develop s your child’s understanding of language, or receptive language skills. These skills are usually more developed than expressive language, or the way the child uses words and sentences to express his/her ideas. Good receptive and expressive language sills lay the ground work for good academic performance since language is an important basis for learning.

There are several things you can do to aid your child’s speech and language skills. One technique is called Indirect Language Stimulation. This allows your child to hear language without having to make a verbal response. You act as the “sports announcer” by talking about what is going on in your child’s environment. Parallel talk is one type of indirect language stimulation. You describe the action your child is doing, as he or she is doing it. For example:

Child is playing with a truck

Parent: “You have a truck. You made it go.”

The child is not asked a question that he/she might not have the words to answer. He/she is also not asked to repeat what you say. This type of language stimulation allows your child to listen to the words you say as he/she interacts with the things in their world. It is a good idea to keep your sentences short, just one or two words longer than the sentences your child is currently saying. It helps your child to learn new words and language concepts if you repeat words and phrases a few times. Also, it is helpful to vary the tone of your voice to hold the child’s interest as he/she hears new words and sentences.

Try these techniques with your child and have fun seeing his/her language develop!

When Should My Child Be Saying That?

Age Pronunciation Understanding Expression
1 Year Combines consonant and vowel sounds (“ba” and “da”) Gives a toy on request

Understands “no”

Says “mama” or “dada”
2 Year Pronounces different consonants at the beginning of words Identifies body parts Combines 2 words together (“go car”)

Names pictures

3 Years Makes the m, p, and b sounds Understands some prepositions, such as “under” Speaks in sentences of 3 to 4 words
4 Years Uses the k, g, and d sounds correctly Identifies colors

Understands concepts of time

Asks questions

Speaks in 4 to 5 word sentences

5 Years Says the f, s, and z correctly Knows common opposites

Understands “same” and “different”

Uses future, present, and past tense

Speaks in 5 to 6 word sentences