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Speech Development Blog by Tiffany Bartlett

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Think Out Loud

Speech Development Tip 4: Use self talk when your child is close enough to hear.

It makes sense to say that we have to talk to our children, if we want them to learn to talk.  Learning is not always a formal, structured occurance.  We just need to get into the habit of not only talking to our children, but talking when our kids are around.  Let me explain myself.  There are two similar types of talking that can benefit your child's speech development - self talk and parallel talk.


Self talk is talking about what you're doing, what you hear, or what you see.  When your child is around, practice self talk.  You don't have to have your child's full attention.  If your son is playing on the kitchen floor, while you are washing the dishes, talk about what you're doing.  "Mommy's washing dishes...hot water...lots of bubbles..."  With self talk, you don't have to get at your son's level, make sure he's listening, and explain your steps to a cleaner kitchen.  You just dialogue with yourself about what you are doing.


Another good time to practice self talk is when you're driving.  Take some time to turn off the radio (or hang up your cell phone) and talk about what you see or hear as you drive.  "We're going on a long drive...I see trees...the branches are blowing...it's windy...I see horses...I see brown ones...I see a black horse..."


You don't have to engage them in conversation.  You don't have to expect a response.  You don't even have to use complete sentences.  In fact short, simple phrases are best.  Just talk and let your son or daughter hear you.  THINK OUT LOUD!


That's enough for now, I'll talk about parallel talk in my next blog!


*This speech tip is introduced in week 4 of the speech calendar

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