Helpful Hints

1.  Listen to your child!  This gives them a chance to build their language and speech.  Be sure to give your child your undivided attention and really listen to what your child has to say. If needed, set aside specific times with limited distractions.  Good examples are mealtimes, bedtime routines, in the car, morning routines, during the commercials at tv time (try muting the tv), on walks with the dog, etc! 

2.  As your child talks, you can shape his/her language by repeating information back to them by expanding on his/her sentences or with slight corrections.  

3.  As you and your child engage in activities, talk aloud about what you are doing by describing, commenting, problem solving, etc.

4.  If your child's speech is unclear, try writing down words/phrases that your child frequently repeats.  As you listen to your child, check off the words from your list that your child does not say clearly.  Then, look for patterns within these words to see if certain sounds are consistently in error.  Focusing on one sound (/r/, /s/, /l/, etc.), model 5-8 words with that particular sound. Have your child repeat these words after you. As your child builds success increase the demands from words to phrases to sentences.  Remember, incorporating games makes everything more fun!!

5.  Practice speech in front of a mirror so that your child can visualize the sound in addition to hearing it. 

6. Always reward success!  If you are seeing positive changes in your child's language, make note of those successes to your child.

7.  If you are concerned or have a questions about your child's speech or language skills, please ask your child's classroom teacher.  They can help to determine if your child's speech should be screened by one of the school's Speech and Language Pathologists.