The age at which children understand language and start talking vary. Before they turn 1, most babies speak using words like ‘mama’ and ‘dada.’ By the time they are 2, they would be comfortable using about 20-30 words.
This tells us that there is no certainty at what age a child should start talking clearly. But what if they cannot speak as well as other children of their age or are unable to understand the conversation? While some children learn to speak early, some take time, which should not be construed as a problem.
Before you rush to your pediatrician terribly worried about why your 3-year-old is not talking but understands everything and how to improve your children’s speech.
Here are some of the efficient methods for doing child speech therapy at home, including day to day speech therapy tips for parents to make their child talk beautifully.
Speak to them as much as possible
The first thing you, as a parent, must do, is to speak to the child—a baby talk using gestures, words, and actions to establish two-way communication.
Take turns to talk and give your child some time to understand your words. Children are inquisitive and will reply after understanding you. Child speech therapy done with the correct ingredients such as these can work miracles.
Use short and simple words
Remember, KISS (Keep it Short and Simple). Use words that are easier to speak and understand. Repeat those over and over again until your child learns to use them in his/her daily interaction.
Pay close attention to which words are your child reacting to and use those words often. Ask your child to repeat those words. Use simple words like milk, apple, brush, bath, in, out, sleep, up, down, sit, stand, food, banana, orange, play, ball, shirt, bye-bye, shoes, water, car, cat, dog, bird, hands, legs, eyes, doll, toy, pen, pencil and other such simple words in your everyday conversation.
Arguably, this can be one of the significant pillars of doing child speech therapy at home.
Tell stories at bedtime
Telling stories during bedtime helps children comprehend and understand the story. Think of it as a kind of reward that you are giving your child. They remember the stories and will try to ask you questions through words, actions, or gestures. It also helps build a special bond between you and your child, and since you are taking good care of your children’s speech, you will surely see your baby talking soon.
Read children’s books
Read children’s books with more images and fewer texts. By nature, children are attracted to colorful pictures and will try to ask questions about the characters or events appearing in the book.
If you want to make your child talk, stories and comics are an efficient tool to make it happen. Stories and childhood heroes often inspire children to an adequate level of activity.
Keep them away from TV and mobiles
Keeping your children away from TV and mobile will help them enhance their hearing and understanding skills as both the devices are a significant distraction.
To get your baby talking, we advise you to do so. When you have the TV turned on while trying to talk to your child, the visuals and sound will hamper your child’s understanding and comprehension skills. Mobiles have a similar effect on the child as TV, and when the children are engrossed in watching videos or playing games on mobiles, it’s going to hurt their attention. Most children have difficulty understanding what is being told to them versus what’s happening on TV. When you talk to them while the TV is on or while they are with mobiles, the sounds and visuals in these devices are more attractive to them than what you tell them.
That is why it’s crucial that you spend more time with your child and talk/play with them. This will absolutely affect your children’s speech.
Point to an object/word and repeat
Another way to help your child get a quick understanding of the world is to point at an object such as a tree/bird/animal or a word and repeat it several times.
For example, point at the water and repeat the word water several times. Show your child a chair and repeat the phrase chair many times. Point at a pigeon and repeat the phrase pigeon many times. Do this several times a day and ensure your child repeats the word after you. When you are doing child speech therapy at home, you have to win the child’s confidence to achieve the intent to precision.
Nobody is perfect, and never expect children to be perfect. Children make a speech or word mistakes all the time, and by criticizing them, you are only letting them down.
If they make mistakes, tell them the right word or pronunciation. Praise their baby’s talk and his/her speaking efforts.
To ensure that children don’t get frustrated due to their inability to speak correctly, teach them sign languages. This will make them feel comfortable and motivated.
Babies talk adapting this way, and slowly and steadily, you can observe the change in their word pronunciation and speech.
Ask your child to speak in front of a mirror. It’s said that a mirror is one of the best tools we can use to improve ourselves.
Your child will find speaking in front of the mirror, exciting and fun as it gives them feedback about their speaking attempt.
Turn everyday situations into something new
Tell your child about the importance of the world around you and turn everyday situations new for them. If you can drive a car, tell them why driving is an important skill.
If your child is around while you’re cooking, tell your child something new about cooking. If you’re chopping vegetables, tell them about why vegetables are essential for healthy living. You can turn each situation into a new topic of discussion.
In the case of children, child speech therapy blended with engaging, imaginative experiences can stimulate children’s intellectual curiosities.
At Orchids The International School, we know the potential of each child. With a robust team of highly-skilled teachers and world-class facilities that complement the academics, we know what it takes to turn the child into great students. Read more about our Public Speaking program