Our fancy name of Speech Language Pathologist is long for a reason. Not only do we cover speech (how we say words and sounds), but we cover language too. The two are separate from each other.
Refers to the words we use and how we use them to share ideas and get what we want. An idea that our little kiddos can master to take advantage of us by how cute they are!
Language can include:
- what words mean
- how to make new words
- how to put words together
- What we should say at different times.
Children with deficits in receptive (what we understand), and expressive (what we can express to share our thoughts, ideas, and feelings) language often feel moments of frustration or confusion. The world seems that much bigger around them.
Helpful Home Tips
If you have a little that is having a hard time understanding and expressing themselves, there are ways that you can help at home. A few will be listed here:
- If your child is under 2, decrease that screen time. “Research shows that media use does not promote language skills in this age group.” –American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Use clear simple speech that is easy to imitate.
- Expand your child’s vocabulary. Introduce new vocabulary through reading books that have a simple sentence on each page. Have them point to objects as you say them, or you can tell them what you see and see if they will imitate you.
- Ask your child questions that require them to make a choice. For example, “Do you want milk or water?”. They may need you to hold up the objects so they can point. Don’t forget to wait for a response, even if you know the answer. Then be sure to reinforce the answer “Thank you for telling me you want ___, I will get you ___”.
- To increase their receptive communication, you could ask yes/no questions in the car. Make a game with it, or catch them off guard so they are truly listening. “Is that a car?”, “Do you like this song?”, “Are you a girl?”, “Did you see the dinosaur?”.
Have fun with language.
Don’t be afraid to play and be silly, even if you feel awkward! Silly sounds, funny face, different voices. That interaction is going to provide them with more language than anything else because you are your child’s best model. Give it time and patience. It truly is a gift when your child becomes sassy and confident with their new language abilities.
If you feel that your child can benefit from speech and language services, please feel free to contact us at (208) 375-4200 or below. Come visit us on our Facebook page as well! – Jessica Palomo Speech Language Pathologist at Kaleidoscope Pediatric Therapy.