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Follow Their Lead


84468592The general idea behind inspiring communication is talking to your child so he will learn. Children learn language or use what they know when they are interested in what they are doing. Here are some ways of talking to your child so that he can learn to communicate: 


Imitate and Model: Imitating the sounds or words your child says shows that you are interested in what he is saying and prompts him to imitate what you say. After you have imitated what he says, repeat the word or phrase in its correct form without telling him what he said was wrong. This method is called modelling.  


Expand: Expanding is adding more words to what your child says and is a good way to teach him more complex language. For example, if he says "baby" you can say "pretty baby," or "baby sleeps." It is helpful to try and add one or two more words that he can say (e.g., child says, "Big car" and you say "Yes, big red car." Child says, "What that?" and you say"What is that?", "Her a pretty lady" and you say, "Yes, she is a pretty lady."  


Extend: Give your child more facts related to what he has said or done. If your child says "car" you might say "It's a big car," and then add "Daddy drives it," or "The wheels go round and round," or "Tomorrow we will go in daddy's car."  Talk about what your child is doing and what you are doing when he is around you. Your child will enjoy this because it shows him/her that you are interested in what he is doing. Talk about what you and he are doing at that moment, (e.g., "brush your teeth," "eat your cookie," "bus go," "let's go to the store"). Make a habit of talking about the daily activities of your child. Repeating words over and over helps him learn them.  


Label or Name: Everything has a name; use it. Name the objects or actions your child needs to know. Reading a book or a photo album with him is a good chance for you to name objects or actions. Your child will hear and learn new words in many daily routines. 


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