The first few years of your child’s life are key to developing speech and language. This is why you need to create an environment that helps stimulate these areas of their lives. Fortunately, there are a few things you can easily do here. What you do will depend on your child’s age.
Birth – 2-years-old
This is a young age when your child is just beginning to develop their speech and language skills. Some things you can do to help them here include:
- Say sounds like “mama,” “dada,” and “ba” in an attempt to have your child repeat them back to you.
- Engage in conversation with your baby. Even though it’s mainly syllables at this point, and not words, this is still important for you to do nonetheless.
- Always respond to your child’s faces and laughter by making faces at or laughing with them.
- Share books with your child. Talk about the big, colorful pictures inside. Have them point to objects too.
2-years-old – 4-years-old
It’s fast speed ahead during this period. Tuning into your child and helping them succeed with speech and language here means doing some of the following things:
- Make sure you’re a model of good speech for your child by speaking clearly to them.
- While it’s fine to baby talk with your child occasionally, you want to make sure you also use the adult words (e.g. din-din and dinner).
- Help your child understand how to ask questions. Have your child ask you questions – even ones that may take you off guard will still help you make sure that they’re tuning in to the world around them.
- Give your child the ability to make simple choices, like do they want an apple or an orange.
4-years-old – 6-years-old
- Now is when your child is polishing their speech and language skills. To help them do so, you should:
- Always pay attention when your child is talking to you and make sure they do the same when you’re talking to them.
- When your child tells you something, praise them and help them see that you’ve understood what they’ve said to you.
- After telling your child something, make sure you pause for a moment so they have time to respond to you.
Whether you’re in need of additional ideas or some help along the way, if you live in Plano, Texas, you should reach out to Speech and OT. Over the years we’ve been able to help many children successfully develop their speech and language skills. Your child deserves this same success, so contact us today.