WHAT PARENTS CAN DO

Help your child learn to speak

Suggestions for helping your child develop speech

1. Talk to your child about everything. Children need a lot of verbal stimulation from infancy on. Play games with sounds and words. Your children pick up most of their vocabulary from you.
2. Listen to your child and expand on his language. Use well formed sentences that are a little longer than his. Use new vocabulary.
Child: "Truck broke."
Parent: " The truck is broken. It needs a new wheel."
3. Read to your child frequently. Talk about pictures and situations in books. Your child learns new vocabulary, concepts and the patterns of language from being read to. Read cereal boxes, signs, everything. Use the library and make reading a part of your daily home life.
4. Play games with your child. He can learn coordination, how to follow rules, how to communicate with others, and new concepts.
5. Play hospital, zoo, store, barber shop, restaurant or airport with your child. Use puppets. These activities develop creativity and help your child learn about life situations.
6. Classify. Help your child make scrapbooks or sort things so he'll learn the concept of color, size, matching, comparisons, and so forth.
7. Provide new experiences. Take field trips, make things, cook, do science experiments. Involve your child in daily activities. Talk about all of these.
8. Use television to its best advantage. Limit its use to good programs and spend more time in family interaction.
9. Make language and speech fun for your child. Reinforce his attempts and praise him.
10. Concerning your child's speech and language attempts, don't allow other family members to tease, make fun of, imitate, or label him.