Additional Information Regarding Speech and Language Issues

What Are the Signs of a Speech, Receptive or Expressive Language Delay?

Difficulty processing or following directions. Sometimes parents might think of this as a behavioral issue. Children might not fully participate in the classroom since they might be uncertain of the direction or what is expected of them. Some children might only follow simple directions and have difficulty with longer ones. Children might point or gesture to make their needs known to someone.

Verbal expression may only occur with a few words. Some children have behavioral issues due to frustration when not being able to communicate effectively. Uses mostly vowel sounds to communicate. Will substitute easier sounds for more difficult ones such as “lelleo” for yellow.

Other Signs:

-Limited recognizable vocabulary at 2 years of age

-Limited understanding by 3 years of age

-Little understandable speech by 3 years of age

-Frequently uses incorrect grammar after 5 years of age

-Not producing most speech sounds by 5 years of age

What Parents Can Do To Strengthen and Build A Child’s Speech and Language Skills

Modeling language is an easy and outstanding approach for facilitating speech and language with children. It is reasonable for children to make errors while they are learning their speech and language skills. During the developing years, a child might say, “I raned after the doggie.” Or “I like dat one”. To offer a natural learning opportunity simply model the correct form naturally in the conversation. “You ran after the doggie? That’s nice” or “You would like that one? okay.” In both examples, modeling the correct from made the correction by not pointing out that an error was made that can frustrate children as they are experiment with their new speech and language. Numerous studies demonstrate that modeling the correct form of language is an effective method for fostering speech and language development.

Offer choices to provide opportunities to use language and experiment with vocabulary. For example: “Would you like orange juice or grape juice?” “Do you want to go to the store with daddy or help mommy make dinner? With this approach, children are placed in a position to have to give a verbal response. As a added benefit to this approach, when children make choices they feel empowered which fosters their self-esteem and minimizes behavior.

“Give me more language.” When a child has emerging speech and language and is beginning to speak in sentences, encourage your child to speak in full thoughts and complete sentences whenever it is naturally appropriate. When your child is giving you information prompt them by stating, “Give me more words” when their thought is only a phrase or lacks detail. For example, If your child reported, “We played,” ask them to use more words to tell you about it by saying, “tell me more”. In another example, when your child is doing a task, ask them what they are doing. Say, “Mathew, what are you doing?” He responds, “cutting.” You say “use your words and tell me in a full thought”. Mathew replies, “I am cutting my banana.”

Keep talking natural and fun. There are many ways to expose children to speech and language through everyday activities. Have fun and enjoy your child’s speech and language development. If you feel it is appropriate to obtain speech therapy services, please feel free to contact us.