Speech pathologists love to play. A large portion of my time at work is spent crawling on the floor playing and playing board games.
If you peeked in a window during therapy, you may think “why are they just crawling on the floor playing with cars?” Although it looks like all fun and games, there is a plan hidden in all the fun. While we are playing with the pop up toy or racing cars around a mat, we are constantly thinking about what words we will use next and how we will say them.
Each child has an individual set of goals for speech and language. The words the speech pathologist uses in therapy depends on the goals for that child.
The following videos are examples of ways to use toys to encourage words with a 14 month old.
Things to keep in mind when trying to encourage your little one to talk:
*use short phrases
*use words to label items (that’s a banana)
*use words to tell what things do (throw the ball)
*use words to describe items (big block, red shoe)
*model different types of utterances (make comments and ask questions)
*describe where things are (the ball is UNDER the chair)
*GIVE YOUR CHILD TIME TO TALK
*DON’T BE TOO PUSHY
When you model words for your child, give them plenty of time to talk back. Parents often say “Say ball, say it, say ball, come on, say ball.” This does not give the child an opportunity to try. They need time to process the information and attempt to say the word. Instead, try to model the word and wait a while for a response.