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Late Talkers: 5 Tips To Help Your Child

This blog article is about Late Talkers: 5 Tips To Help Your Child.

Late Talkers: 5 Tips To Help Your Child

Late talkers begin speaking later than other children their age. Late talkers usually understand spoken language and are usually developing typically with their cognitive, motor and social skills.

Here are some practical tips that you can use in your child’s everyday routine to help them to develop their communication.

1. Follow your child’s lead

This means watching and responding to what your child says or does to keep their interest and attention focused for longer. It gives your child the opportunity to choose their own learning activity. For some children that could be playing during bath time, for others it’s playing in the sandpit. When parents follow their child’s lead, they help their child become more confident and capable play partners.

2. Copy what your child says

Imitate your child’s actions, sounds and words. Let your child explore or experiment with materials in his own way (e.g. if your child is building a tower with blocks, you can copy your child and start building a tower too). You can add sounds and words while you build (e.g. ‘Up’, ‘Blocks go up’, ‘Crash!’ and ‘Falling down!’).

3. Give your child a choice

As parents you can often anticipate what your child wants, even before they tell you. Create an opportunity for your child to communicate by giving them a choice. This is an easy way to give your child lots of opportunities to communicate with you in the everyday routine. Start by standing in front of your child and holding up two objects that your child may want (e.g. bubbles and a car). Name each object as you show it to your child, then ask your child, ‘Which one do you want?’. If your child attempts to communicate their preference such as pointing to or looking at it, give them the requested item and reinforce the choice by naming the item again (e.g. ‘Bubbles’ or ‘You want bubbles’). If your child attempts to say an approximation of the word, praise them immediately and name the item again. The more your child hears the word said, the more likely they are to attempt to say it.

4. Create opportunities for your child to request

In most homes with children, toys tend to be everywhere and easily accessible. Start putting your child’s favourite toys somewhere they can see it but can’t access it without your help. This creates an extremely motivating reason for your child to learn to request (e.g. Put your child’s favourite car on top of a shelf where they can see it, but can’t reach it).

5. Play games that use repetition

Children need to hear a word numerous times in different contexts as well as understand its meaning before they start to use the word themselves. If you repeat words for your child in different scenarios, it will give them more opportunities to hear and learn new words. Games such as ‘Ready, set, go!’, ‘Hide and Seek’, ‘Pat a Cake’ and ‘Peek a Boo’ are fantastic because they are repetitive, engaging and fun!

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