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  • Talk to your child about anything and everything that interests him. Be sure that there is plenty of repetition of simple vocabulary and that he looks at you as you are talking.

  • Talking will help build a speech-reading (understanding) vocabulary for him. He must understand words before he will begin to say them.

  • Look pleased when he uses his voice to communicate. Even if it is only to gain attention at first. Gradually guide this vocalization into eventual real speech.

  • Once he has the idea of vocalizing and trying to imitate words, look at him as though you expect him to use voice... and eventually words.

  • Expect him to use whatever words he knows and can say. The degree of perfection is not of prime importance at first. This should improve gradually as he understands and can control his speech more and more.

  • Once he has the habit of trying to talk, "give" him the words he needs. Find simple words that will express his needs.. ex: "help me, bathroom, home, more, no, no more, fell down, sick, sleep, etc." Say them to him, help him to imitate your speech.

  • See that he feels satisfaction and success in trying to talk.

  • Make sure that his "speech" is effective, either in getting him what he wants or in getting a conclusive answer (sometimes NO!) from you. Make his use of gesture successful only when he does not have speech for his idea.

  • Help him to increase his vocabulary by using simple words in appropriate situations and expecting him to imitate and/or approximate.

  • Expect him to use sentences and phrases as soon as he can. He will need help with verbs, prepositions, pronouns, etc.

  • Know what you can expect of your child and always hold him to what he is capable of doing. Keep slightly ahead of him in helping him to understand new words.

  • Help him to use his voice. Indicate to him that you can't hear him; use his hearing aid; put his hand on our cheek.

  • Help him to use good (correct) speech when he can. Consult the teacher as often as possible to find out what you can expect of him.

  • Be patient but firm. Encourage, don't scold. Be consistent!!

Techniques to Facilitate Speech/Language Skills:

  • Bring your body and eye level down to the child's level. Sit child on a chair. Adult can sit on the floor to aid eye level position.

  • Maintain close proximity to the child. Honor space limits as the child allows.

  • Be animated. Exaggerate facial expressions; increase intonation.

  • Use simple vocabulary with emphasis on key ideas.

  • If child is using single words, then model two-word utterances.

  • Give everything a label. Name and talk about your actions in front of the child.

  • Provide choices between objects or events. Name the choices to allow for success in child remembering and requesting the desired item.

  • Ask the child to imitate, label, regulate your behavior and request with word attempts.

Cornerstone Therapy Services

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