- Continue to speak to children, even if their own speech is delayed.
- Encourage verbal communication by allowing non-word sounds.
- Show everyday objects whilst saying the word associated with the object.
- Introduce objects and words in context, foods at meal times, for instance.
- Let your children see your mouth and facial expressions while reading stories to them.
- Sing or use pre-recorded nursery rhymes and act them out with your child.
- When your child makes sounds, provide tactile feedback by putting their hand on their chest and throat.
- Record your child's babbling and play it back to them when you have their attention.
- Use slightly longer sentences than your child is using him or herself.
- Avoid putting too much pressure on your child to repeat words, but encourage them through playful interactions.
Encouraging speech development
If your child has speech delay, then try some of these hints and tips that you can try yourself at home:
For better learning and development it is important that our brain ignores most information from our skin or internal body parts as that allows us to concentrate on the visual and auditory information being presented to us.
Children learn to speak at widely varying ages, some very early at six months, but more commonly first words come around 12 to 18 months of age, while others need more time. Mostly speech is preceded by babbling and nonsense words, but some 'perfectionists' are silent until such time they feel confident that they can say words properly. Some children with 'speech delay' will suddenly come out with whole sentences.
The start of acquiring language and speech is clearly the sense of hearing. Through listening the infant learns about language and will eventually wish to imitate the speech of his or her caretakers.
SAS Centre specialises in programmes that encourage a child to acquire speech. This may involve preparatory work to improve attention, social contact and motivation followed by a programme of specially altered music and language input. Each programme is designed around the needs and abilities of the child and is aimed at helping the child to start speaking.