Strategies for Home

Communication Strategies for Home

This page has a few different techniques (there are MANY others!) that you can use with your child to stimulate language. Please talk with your Speech Language Pathologist. They can help guide you to what may work best for you and your child. 

WAIT!

One of the greatest tools you have to help your child, is to wait. Give them time to respond. Try counting to 7 for them to respond. You will be surprised how long it is!

Narrate

Talk about what you are doing. As simple as that! Narrate, or self-talk, while you are cooking or cleaning. 

Add 1 Word

The +1 technique is when you add an additional word to your child's verbalization. If they say "help." You could add to it by saying "help me."

Repetition

Using the same word or phrase repeatedly during an activity. "I see a dog. It's a big dog. Pet the dog."

Model

When you child says a word, you can model the word back for them appropriately. Don't pressure them to say it correctly, just provide the example of how it should sound. 

Give Choices

Give your child two options and name these options.  "Do you want a banana or an apple?" Your child may not verbally respond, but you have provided them with the words you want them to learn.

Commenting

Use more comments than questions. For every question you ask your child, try to make three simple statements related to the topic. 


Speech Sound Strategies

  • Keep in mind that speech sounds develop in stages, so your child's words may not sound clear right away--that's perfectly okay!

  • Get a mirror out, let your child have fun looking at their mouth and help them notice the structures that help them make sounds (lips, tongue, teeth, etc.).

  • To increase awareness of speech structures, practice making silly faces and blowing kisses while looking in the mirror.

  • To work on early developing "lip sounds" (p, b, m), make funny noises with the lips such as popping sounds or smacking the lips together. 

  • Model correct production of a word rather than telling your child they said something incorrectly. For example, if your child says "ea-" for the word eat, naturally model the correct way to say the word by saying, "Okay, we can eat."

  • Use visual or verbal prompts to help your child make early developing sounds. For example, you can use an index finger to gently guide your child's lips together to make sounds p, b, and m. Ask your SLP for more information and ideas.

  • REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT!--With plenty of repetition your child's words will begin to sound clearer. Come up with ways to practice a word throughout your day and make it fun by using songs, rhymes, and play!


Routine Based Strategies

One of the best ways to implement strategies is to embedded them into your every routines, including: meal time, bath time, reading, bed time, going out, self care, and helping around the house. 

Your Speech Language Pathologist can help to tailor these strategies so they fit your routine and your child's strengths. 


Alternative Communication

Baby Signs

Before words emerge, other types of communication strategies can be helpful to reduce frustration and encourage communication attempts. Baby signs are a great way to help your child better communicate and will not inhibit verbal language development. Talk with your Speech Language Pathologist if you are interested in introducing baby signs, and additional resources

Picture Communication

Another way to help your child communicate before words emerge is by using pictures. Using pictures to communicate often builds confidence and reduces challenging behaviors and frustration. Examples include: an individualized menu of favorite foods posted on your refrigerator, choosing from pictures of favorite songs to sing with you, a simple communication board to make requests with frequently used words (i.e. more/all done, in/out, stop/go). Using alternative ways to communicate such as picture exchange systems and/or communication boards does not inhibit verbal language from developing. Research shows that these methods often support and even facilitate language development. Talk to your Speech Language Pathologist if you are interested in developing an individualized picture communication system or communication board with your child. To see an example of a communication board, click on the "Project Core Communication Board" link in the 'Resources' section at the bottom of the main Language page.