teaching them to talk: vol. 3

I've talked a million times over the past couple of years about our struggles with the boys' speech delays. We've received so many hand outs, packets of information on tips we can use daily to encourage speech. I want to start sharing all this information with all of you because I know there are so many moms and dads out there going through what we went through- are they supposed to be talking yet? What should they be saying by now? Is it too early to seek help? Am I just being crazy? Well, I don't know if I can answer any of those questions for you but I'm going to pass on the information we've received and hope that some of it can help you, too.

This series will hopefully be a resource to not only those of you experiencing the struggles of speech delays with your children but also for all parents in general wanting to learn ways to help encourage expressive speech in your children.

Today's tips are about creating situations that almost force your child to communicate without you actually having to force them! By creating a tempting situation-by getting them engaged, you can often open up some very good communicative pathways. I found these tips extremely helpful!

Communicative Temptations
(from Wetherby and Prizant, 1989)

1. Eat a desired food item in front of the child without offering any to the child. 

2. Activate a wind-up toy, let it deactivate, and hand it to the child. 

3. Give the child four blocks to drop in a box, one at a time (or use some other action that the child will repeat, such as stacking the blocks or dropping the blocks on the floor); then immediately give the chid a small animal figure to drop in the box.

4. Look through a few books (or a magazine) with the child.

5. Open a container of bubbles, blow bubbles, then close the container tightly and give the closed container back to the child.

6. Initiate a familiar and and an unfamiliar social game with the child until the child expresses pleasure; then stop the game and wait.

7. Blow up a balloon and slowly deflate it; then hand the deflated balloon to the child or hold the deflated balloon up to your mouth and wait.

8. Hold a food item or toy that the child dislikes out near the child and offer it.

9. Place a desired food item or toy in a clear container that the child cannot open. Then place the container in front of them and wait.

10. Place the child's hands in a cold, wet, or sticky substance such as Jell-O, pudding or paste.

11. Roll a ball to the child, after the child returns the ball 3 times, immediately roll a different toy to the child.

12. Engage the child in putting together a puzzle. After the child has put in three pieces, offer the child a piece that does not fit.

13. Engage the child in an activity with a substance that can be easily spilled (or dropped, broken, torn, etc.); suddenly spill some of the substance on the table or floor in front of the child and wait.

14. Put an object that makes noised in an opaque container and shake, hold it up and wait.

15. Give the child materials for an activity of interest that necessitates use of an instrument for completion (e.g.; a piece of paper to dra on or cut, a bowl of pudding or soups); hold the instrument out of the child's reach and wait.

16. Wave and say "bye-bye" to an object upon removing it from a play area. Repeat this for a second and third situation, and do nothing when removing an object from a fourth situation. 

17. Hide a stuffed animal under the table. Knock, and then bring out the animal. Have the animal greet the child the first time. Repeat for a second and third time, do nothing when bringing the animal out the fourth time. 

I hope these can help you create some situations that encourage your little ones to be vocal! If you have any questions please let me know. I'm not an expert but I'll do my best to help.

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