Things Every Parent Can Do to Help Their Child’s Speech and Language Development
“If you can give your son or daughter only one gift, let it be enthusiasm.”
– Bruce Barton
Maintaining enthusiasm for life and a passion for living are qualities many parents hope to pass on to their children and doing so can be as easy as modeling such attitudes. But did you know that you can also help your child’s speech and language development in the process?
Being an engaged and nurturing parent can begin before your child is born. Fetal hearing develops in the second trimester and parents the world over have been talking to – and bonding with – their unborn children since ancient times.
After birth, teaching your infant about the world they inhabit can be as enjoyable for them as it is for you. Talk to your baby as much as possible. Make eye contact. Describe what you’re doing. Use short, expressive sentences and name things correctly. “Daddy is going to change your diaper. You’ll feel so much better when you’re clean and dry. First I’ll use these wipes. Now it’s time for the diaper cream.”
Your child will learn as you talk to them and they’ll pick up important auditory and visual cues about language and how it works in the process.
Singing to your child and reading to them are also important. Can’t bear the thought of rereading your toddler’s favourite storybook for the fortieth time? Talk about what you see in the pictures and ask them to point out the things they can find. “Do you see the butterfly? Show Mommy the cow that’s standing in the barn.” With older children, talk about what may happen next in the story and predict outcomes of actions.
Your child will benefit in numerous ways. And as they grow, if you have concerns about how their speech or language is developing, remember that help is as close as your nearest Speech-Language Pathologist.
No matter what the communication challenge is, S.L. Hunter & Associates has an entire team of highly skilled and innovative Speech-Language Pathologists and Communicative Disorders Assistants who are prepared to help.
The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. They can be reached by telephone at 905-637-5522 or online at www.slhunter.ca.