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Speech Development Blog by Tiffany Bartlett

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Simplicity is Key in Helping Your Toddler Talk

When a child is learning to talk, simplicity is key.  When you are talking to them, talk to them as if you were talking to someone who is new to learning Engish. 

Here are some tips:

  • make eye contact
  • speak clearly
  • speak in short phrases
  • limit the use of blends 

Make eye contact - When you have your child's attention, (s)he will not only hear the sounds or words you are saying, but will also see how to produce the sounds/words correctly.

Speak clearly - Don't mumble.  You can also emphasize sounds that you know your child is having difficulty producing.   Avoid repeating a word or phrase incorrectly because your child sounds cute when (s)he says it.  You always want to model correct speech.

Speak in short phrases and use simple commands - You don't want to confuse or overwhelm your child with too many words or steps.  For example, "Jesse you need to go to the closet and get your shoes on before we can go to the park" is too wordy.  A more simple way of saying it is, "Jesse, shoes on."

Limit the use of blends when you are introducing a new sound - Blends (ie: /tr/, /sm/, /bl/, /st/ /gr/) are combining two sounds to form a new sound.  If your child has a difficult time producing one sound in isolation, a combination of two sounds will be overwhelming or frustrating.  For example, “Brick” is more difficult to say, than “big.”

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