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Speech Development Blog by Tiffany Bartlett

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Tips and Video to Help Your Late Talker

The purpose of this video is to show an example of how you can use the activities in my speech calendar to help your toddler talk

There are several things I'd like to point out in this video.  This video was made at my home with my daughter (3 yrs. 9 mos) and my friend's son (2 yrs. 2 mos).  As you can tell in the video, my daughter, Emily has no problem speaking her mind, and Alex is at the beginning stages of talking.  His main form of communication is through gestures, but is beginning to add some words and short phrases.  In the video, I was using some of the activities from week one of the speech calendar, focusing on the /m/ sound.  This is a short clip from a 15 minute video of Alex and Emily.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are using the speech calendar with your late talker:

  • Have fun!  Pick activities that your child will enjoy.  Children learn through play.
  • It's okay to use "parentese" (a sing-song voice) when you are speaking with a toddler.  Please keep in mind, "parentese" is not the same as baby talk.  Be careful, not to mispronounce your words.  I am ashamed to admit that in the video, I accidentally said, "nummy" instead of "yummy!"
  • Include other family members when working with your toddler.  This video is an example of how to work on speech when more than one child is in the room. 
  • Make good eye contact, so that your toddler can see and hear you speak and sign.
  • Show your late talker a need for communication.  In this video, I was aware that Alex wanted more of Emily's pretzels.  I could have just asked Emily to hand him a pretzel, but instead I showed Alex that he needed to communicate in order to get the pretzels.  When you anticipate your child's needs, your child misses the opportunity to use his or her own communication skills.
  • Always praise your child when your child attempts to communicate with words or sign!  Praise and encouragement will motivate your child to continue trying.
  • Make the activities fit your toddler's personality.  The activities I took from the first week of the speech calendar, were to sign and say, "more" at snack time and pretend to be a cow.  I didn't think Alex would feel comfortable acting like a cow with me, so I used cow puppets instead.

I want to encourage you to be patient and keep working with your child. You will see improvement.

If you have questions or comments, please drop a comment below.


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