We are coming to the end of the our first week of our “Ready for School Camp” and its been an absolute joy with the kids we’ve had so much fun and its a real pleasure to see the progress that the kids are making in the journey towards school. We are passionate about all that we do in the clinic and one of the area’s that we feel really strong about is ensuring that everybody is on the page about how important it is for our children’s language to be the best it can be for when they start school. The reasons for this is that Language and Communication are such vital parts of development in a child and will them the best chance they can of transitioning into school. Being able to listen to instructions will help them understand what is expected of them, it will help them learn what is being taught to them, using their communication skills will help them make little friends and also help them navigate all the little obsticles they will encounter during their day.
So Amanda our Speech Therapist has done up some little tips for helping your child along the way. You will be amazed how having these skills will help your child on their big journey into school. If your child is having difficulty with their Speech, Language or Communication discuss with their teacher before entering into school as it will be vital information for their teacher as they may need to make adjustments to how they teach your child.
Tips for Building Speech, Language, and Communication
You, as parents, are your child’s main speech and language model! To encourage and support speech and language development, the following approaches can be incorporated into daily routines.
- Provide your child with a model or example of specific language or speech ‘target’.
For example: Child: ‘Det it down’
Parent: ‘Get what down?
Oh, get this down?
Okay, I’ll get it down for you.’
This example shows how you, as a parent, can provide multiple examples of a ‘target’ sound within a natural conversation.
- When you hear your child make little errors, you can correct them by providing a model or example. This type of modelling is called recasting.
- Parent repeats the correct form once during a conversation, with a little emphasis on the correct form of the ‘target’.
For example: Child: ‘I swimmed yesterday.’
Parent: ‘Oh, you swam yesterday. That’s great!’.
- This technique is best done:
- Naturally, as opportunities arise.
- Around topics that interest your child.
iii. Around topics that your child has started.
Important: Don’t urge your child to repeat your correction and give them space to absorb the information and store the word.
- This technique allows parents to expand what your child has said by adding a little more information while also correcting their mistakes.
For example: If your child puts a teddy in the car and then says ‘teddy car’, you could expand this by saying ‘Yes! Teddy is driving the car.’
- This technique is useful as it will give a lot of information on how to put words together in the right way.
This is essential in conversation as speech and language develops. This skill begins during joint attention and interaction.
Example activity: take turns with a puzzle or any toy that requires turn-taking, such as Pop-up-Pirate. Hold the pieces/swords in your lap so that they are out of you child’s reach . Give your child one piece and say “your turn”. Help them to put the piece in place if needed. Say “my turn” and put in one of the pieces. Continue with this until the activity has finished or your child loses interest.
- Auditory Memory
Some children struggle to absorb and recall information they hear, which can impact their learning. You as parents can play fun games to support their learning and increase their ability to follow directions at home and in school!
Example activity: Simon Says, Chinese Whispers. These simple activities will require your child to actively listen and remember what you have said. Start simple with instructions that you can imitate if they find it difficult, example: “Touch your nose”. The more words you add, the harder the activity will become, example “Touch your nose and your head”. It’s okay not to say “Simon Says” at the beginning of the instruction as this will reduce the number of words your child has to recall!
Remember! Speech and Language development is a gradual process and your child will achieve their targets gradually
If your child is experiencing difficulty in the area of their language and communication contact Amanda for an appointment to discuss a plan for them.