Early intervention in a stimulating environment – even during infancy – can help expand your child’s development.
Below are tips to help your child expand communication.
• Interact and play, read, talk and sing. Interacting frequently helps with building language development. Playing, reading, talking and singing with your child as early as possible are great tools parents can use to teach words and form sentences. Read out loud and be expressive, sing songs together and broaden vocabulary and sentence flow by having playful conversations. Books that have textures or nursery rhymes can help incorporate interactions of touch and rhythmic flow.
• Listen, repeat and expand. Listen to your child's sounds and repeat them back. These steps can encourage your child's speech and language development. As he or she grows older, start pointing out the words while reading. This is the next step in understanding letters and how words on a page form sounds.
• Use everyday situations. Talk your way through the day. Name foods at the grocery store, explain what you're doing as you cook or clean, point out objects around the house and as you drive, imitate noises like animal and object sounds and acknowledge your child's responses.
When should parents seek help?
Delays in a normally developing child occur for many reasons, including hearing loss and developmental disorders. Depending on the circumstance, your physician may refer your child to an audiologist or a speech-language pathologist.
Recognizing and treating problems early is the best approach to help with speech and language delays so your child will be able to better communicate with you and the rest of the world.
Remember, every individual is different and it is important to discuss early speech and language development with your physician at every well check child visit.