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Q:

My child has a speech delay. What are some ways I can support their communication skills at home?

Hi everyone,

I am a first-time parent to a 2-year-old child who has been diagnosed with a speech delay. It breaks my heart to see them struggle to communicate, especially when they get frustrated trying to express their needs and wants. I want to do everything in my power to help my child develop their communication skills at home.

I am looking for suggestions and practical tips on how I can support my child's speech and language development. What activities can I do with them at home? Are there any educational resources or toys that would be helpful? Any advice or experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

All Replies

heaney.rodger

Hello there,

I completely understand your struggle. My son had a speech delay when he was younger, and I was anxious about his development. Apart from seeking the help of a professional, here are a few things that helped us:

1. Be a good listener: We took time to listen to our son and encourage him to talk. We responded to his communication efforts and repeated his words when we could. We also had eye contact while talking to him as it helped us understand his thoughts better.

2. Repeat, repeat, repeat: We regularly repeated sounds, simple words and phrases, and nursery rhymes. Repetition helped him retain the words, and he later used them in his sentences.

3. Use visuals: Visual aids like pictures and flashcards helped our son understand and associate words with pictures. We hung these cards around the house and used them to talk about what he saw.

4. Playtime for learning: Playtime allowed us to create an environment for learning while having fun. We spoke while playing, and it encouraged him to listen, communicate, and learn words in context.

5. Encourage conversations: We came up with topics that interested him and made him talk about them. During mealtime, we talked about food and their nutritional value. We also went for walks, pointing out things that interested him and talking about them.

In conclusion, remember not to force your child to talk, instead encourage them gently. Celebrate even small progress, and don't give up. You and your child can do this!

fbahringer

Hello there,

As a parent of a child with a speech delay, I understand how frustrating it can be when your child is struggling to express themselves. Here are some things that have helped us support our child's language development:

1. Speak slowly and clearly: We found that speaking slowly and clearly helped our child understand us better. It also gave them time to process what we were saying and respond at their own pace.

2. Patience is key: It's essential to be patient with a child with a speech delay. They may take longer to respond, but allowing them the time to communicate is important. Remember to validate their attempts no matter how small they are.

3. Play-based learning: Learning through play is an excellent way to encourage language development. We used toys that encouraged communication like puzzles, Lego, and building blocks. We also used tea sets, dolls, and blocks to teach our child the importance of taking turns and listening to one another.

4. Use real-life situations: Real-life situations are great for learning. We encourage outings to the supermarket, park, and museum, and we talked about everything we saw, reinforcing vocabulary and language skills.

5. Keep it fun: Lastly, remember to lighten up. Being too serious about speech can create anxiety and stress in a child. Keeping the language stimulating, engaging and fun helps speech development as well as creating great memories together.

Remember to keep working with your child, and they will make progress over time. Don't hesitate to seek help from a specialist if you feel you need it. Best of luck!

aurelie11

Hi there!

I can definitely relate to your situation. My daughter also had a speech delay when she was younger, and I understand the frustration and worry that comes with it. Here are a few things that worked for us:

1. Read books together: We made reading together a daily activity, and it really helped my daughter develop her vocabulary and sentence structure. We would point to pictures and describe them, and I would ask her questions about what she saw.

2. Play games: We played games like "I Spy" or "Simon Says," which helps to develop listening and communication skills.

3. Talk often: Try to talk to your child as much as possible, even if they aren't responding yet. Narrate your day and describe what you're doing or seeing, and encourage your child to try to repeat words or sounds.

4. Use technology: We found a lot of helpful apps and videos on YouTube designed specifically to support children with speech delays. Just make sure to monitor your child's screen time.

5. Seek professional help: If you haven't already, consider talking to a speech therapist. They can provide personalized advice and exercises to help your child improve their communication skills.

I hope these suggestions help! Remember to be patient and consistent, and celebrate even small progress. You've got this!

merle.klocko

Hey!

I had the same experience with my nephew. We noticed he was struggling with speech from a young age and had a hard time communicating with us. Here are some things that I personally found helpful:

1. Incorporate sign language: We started teaching my nephew simple signs for words like "more," "eat," and "play." This made it easier for him to express his needs and aided in his language development.

2. Focus on positive reinforcement: While correcting your child's speech, try to focus on the positive aspects of their efforts. For example, if they try to say a new word, applaud them for trying and slowly correct the pronunciation.

3. Individualized attention: Spend one-on-one time with your child to focus on their speech development. This can be done in short intervals of 10 to 15 minutes a day, multiple times a day.

4. Use repetitive language: Repeating yourself and encouraging your child to repeat phrases and sounds can help develop their speech. We would sing nursery rhymes and songs like "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" that had repetitive lyrics.

5. Make speech fun: Encourage your child to practice their speech during imaginative play. Play games like "restaurant," where your child practises ordering food and drinks, or "doctor," where they can communicate using medical terminology.

Remember, every child's journey is different. Patience, consistency, and positivity are key. Keep encouraging your child, and most of all, love them through their process. You can do this!

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