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Communication Development

Simple ways to encourage language development

  1. Get down to the child’s physical level and gain his/her attention. (i.e. Kneel down in front of your child and touch his/her face.)
  2. Talk to your child.
    • Describe objects in your child’s environment. (Use props when they are available). i.e. “Red ball” (hold up ball), “Zawar’s truck” (hold up truck)
    • Describe what is happening. i.e. “Daddy’s cooking”, “Dog barking”
    • Describe what you or your child is doing. i.e. “Pouring juice”, “Change Sumaya’s diaper”
  3. Use short simple sentences. i.e. “Jacket on”. “Arms in”. “Zipper up”.
  4. Use lots of repetition. Stress important words. Use the same words each time to represent an object/activity. i.e. “There’s a dog. Big dog. Dog says woof woof.”
  5. Exaggerate your gestures and facial expressions. i.e. “Oh (raise eyebrows and open mouth) see dog!” (point to dog).
  6. Repeat your child’s sounds or words. i.e. child:”ba”, adult:”ba”, child:”wa wa”, adult:”wa wa”
  7. Model and expand your child’s attempts at words. i.e. child: “cah”, adult: “car” (model), adult: “car go” (expand)
  8. Avoid yes/no questions. A child will use one word to respond. i.e. adult: “Do you want more milk?”-child responds: “yes”, ld: “What do you want?”-child responds:”more milk”
  9. If your child is not verbal, interpret his/her gestures. Give your child the words to use in the future. i.e. When she wants you to come and pulls at your arm, say: “Come? You want me to come? Okay, I will come. Come”

Note: Remember, when you expect your child to use a word or gesture, pause. i.e. adult: “What do you want” (count to 5 silently), adult: “What do you want” (count to 5 silently). If there is no response the adult says: “milk”.

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