Parenting Tips For Speech Disabilities

Children with speech and language problems may have trouble sharing their thoughts with words or gestures. They may also have a hard time saying words clearly and understanding spoken or written language. Reading to your child and having her name objects in a book or read aloud to you can strengthen her speech and language skills.

Helping your child love books

You’ll find sharing books together is a great way to bond with your son or daughter and help your child’s development at the same time. Give your child a great gift that will last for life — the love of books.

Children with speech and language problems may have trouble sharing their thoughts with words or gestures. They may also have a hard time saying words clearly and understanding spoken or written language. Reading to your child and having her name objects in a book orread aloud to you can strengthen her speech and language skills.

Tips for reading with your infant or toddler

Each time you read to your child, you are helping her brain to develop. So read to your child every day. Choose books that you think your child will enjoy and will be fun for you to read.

Since younger children have short attention spans, try reading for a few minutes at a time at first. Then build up the time you read together. Your child will soon see reading time as fun time!

Here are some things you can try:

  • Read the same story again and again. The repetition will help her learn language.
  • Choose books with rhymes or songs. Clap along to the rhythm and help your child clap along. As your child develops, ask her to fill in words. (“Twinkle twinkle little star. How I wonder what you ____.”)
  • Point to pictures and talk about them. (“Look at the silly monkey!”) You can also ask your child to point to certain pictures. (“Where’s the cat?”)
  • Talk about events in your child’s life that relate to the story. (“That bear has blue pajamas just like you do!”)
  • Ask your child questions about the story. (“Is that bunny hiding?”)

Preschool and school-age children

Helping your preschooler or school-age child love books

When you read to your child often and combine reading time with cuddle and play time, your child will link books with fun times together. So continue to read to your child every day. Choose books that are on your child’s language level and that your child likes.

Here are some things you can try:

  • Discuss the story with your child. (“Why do you think the monkey stole the key?”)
  • Help your child become aware of letter sounds. (While pointing to a picture of a snake, ask: “What sound does a snake make?”) As your child develops, ask more complex questions. (While pointing to a picture of a ball, ask: “What sound does ‘ball’ start with?”)
  • Play sound games with your child. List words that rhyme (“ball,” “tall”) or start with the same sound (“mommy,” “mix”).

 

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