Updated: Mar 8
Need some help thinking of ideas to encourage communication at home? These tips are best for early communicators, who are not yet producing lots of words, and are at the beginning stages of language learning. Here are some simple ways to promote more opportunities for communication at home.
ACCEPT GESTURES AND POINTING as general communication. What we want is that they learn to use something more specific in order to make requests or communicate their wants. The best way for them to learn is to see you model it for them (use the sign language) in moments when they are attempting to ask for something.
We recommend starting with 'more' 'eat' and 'finish' (all done!).
2. USE SILLY SOUNDS AND EXCLAMATIONS
Kids learn when they are having fun, so lets make as much fun as possible! Use exclamations to comment on your world: uh oh! ta da! wow, Oh mann! Yay! Wohoo!
Kids will enjoy the enthusiasm and may eventually start copying.
Developmentally children learn animal sounds before names of animals. You can look at books and use toys while making animal sounds. Use as much repetition as possible.
3. OBSERVE WAIT AND LISTEN. Watch your child closely and give them plenty of time to use total communication to express themselves (pointing, gestures, facial expressions, noise). Respond to them, you can repeat what they say, rephrase, add on - but allow them time to express themselves. Bottom line - do not bombard them with questions. Let them explore and initiate communication. Wait until they turn to you and take that opportunity to show them a new word (up, on, help!).
HOLD TOYS/ITEMS up near your mouth when pronouncing words. That way your little one will look up toward your face and see how it's pronounced.
If you have any questions you can reach us at email@example.com. Free consults are available to help point you in the right direction. Certified in MA & CT. Follow us at @help_made_simple on Instagram!
There are many communication tips out there from trusted sources. By sharing this information with you, we hope to become your home for speech language learning, parent education, and home practice!
Amy Contant, M.A.,CCC-SLP,CLC