One of the most important points to keep in mind when your child or a student in your class is receiving speech and language services is the importance of carrying over intervention in both the home and school settings. It is ideal for parents, therapists, and educators to work together and discuss the techniques that will be effective for each child. There are many strategies that can be incorporated into a child’s daily routine to boost their speech and language skills. In this post, we will focus on expanding limited expressive language skills.
- When interacting with a young child, repeat what the child says, and add a word that is appropriate to the context. For example: While playing with a toy car, if the child says “car,” you could respond “Car. GO car.” If the child uses two words- expand to three words, etc.
- Speak in sentences that are one to two words longer than the child’s typical utterances. If a child usually combines two words, you should be modeling 3-4 words in your interactions. You may feel that your speech sounds silly, but you are eliminating complex structures that the child is not yet ready to use, which allows the child to concentrate on the next level of development.
- It is also important to expose the child to adult and peer models of conversation. Although they are not yet ready to use these structures, they are exposed to the appropriate models.
- Introduce new words or concepts to a child by using the word in a variety of situations as well as using the word repetitively. For example, when teaching colors: show a blue ball, a blue car, the blue sky, etc. Also, use pictures or objects when available to help reinforce the ideas.
- Music, movement, nursery rhymes, finger plays, and story time are very motivating times for children to promote spontaneous speech production.