If you are here it is because, like most parents, you want what’s best for your child. All children have something important to say, some just cannot express themselves as well or as easily as other children their age.
As professionals, it is easy to overlook how valuable the skills and techniques we use on a daily basis are. However, as parents ourselves, we too spend hours searching the Internet for information that may come naturally to other professionals. That is why we have created this space where we can share the skills and techniques we use on a daily basis as speech-language pathologist. Here you will find useful tools and techniques for facilitating speech, language, and overall development at home.
You and your child have been communicating since the day they were born. Through this communication you have developed a strong connection. No one knows your child better than you. To help your child become the best communicator they can be, all you need to do is build on that connection you already have.
Awareness is the first step toward change. Through the eye of awareness, parents may gain an understanding of how a process such as development unfolds. Furthermore, awareness without judgment allows one to apply general knowledge and observation to help make better decisions. Check out our milestones guide to begin understanding how the process of development unfolds. Then, observe your child. Do not just observe for the milestones they should have at their age. Start at the beginning and check off every milestone. It is important that all milestones are achieved. A gap in achieving a milestone at 6 months may be the start of a delay noted at 2 years.
Now that you know what you need to work on, it’s time to be your child’s speech therapist. According to The Hanen Centre, ““Therapy” happens whenever parent and child are together, and the child learns while communicating about all the things that are most interesting, familiar and important to him.”
When two people communicate back and forth, with or without words, they are taking part in an interaction. The best way to encourage your child to communicate is by letting them take the lead. When you let your child lead and you respond with interest, they will want to communicate more. Furthermore, every time you respond to your child’s lead, you can give them information that will help improve their communication.
So, we know it is important to acknowledge what your child is doing and follow their lead. But, how do you do this?
Get in tune with your child by observing them. Also, take this observation time to become more aware of what your child is able to do and how they are developing. You can even record your child so that you may watch the recording and analyze it better.
Try to answer these questions:
Slow down. Give your child the time to initiate with you. Allow them to pick the activity and take the lead in the interaction. This will provide an opportunity for you to respond.
It's important to show your child that you are listening to their message and trying to understand. This will be evident to them in how you respond.
Now it's time to take all the information you have gathered and put it to use.