The Gunnison Valley HealthSpot
The Gunnison Valley HealthSpot is a monthly resource for information on
a variety of topics ranging from the best way to get a good night's
sleep to women's health.
November's Topic: Develop your child’s language skills.
with Jen Moore, GVH Pediatric Speech Therapist
Early identification for speech therapy is crucial so that children do
not fall behind in their ability to communicate with family, friends,
and peers and that communication struggles do not affect them academically,
socially, or emotionally. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to help
your child communicate.
For children between 1-3 years old, speak in short sentences so they can
answer and use new words every day. Use intonation when you’re talking
so it catches their attention and they can imitate your inflection. When
it sounds fun, they’ll be more likely to try to say the words. Talk
a bit slower to help your child to hear all of the sounds in the word.
Always allow time for your child to answer by waiting for them to respond
instead of answering for them. This allows your child to learn turn-taking
in conversations. Try using more sentences and fewer questions with your
child (3:1- use three statements for every one question you ask).
Try withholding items that your child wants so they have to ask for it
verbally. This discourages grunting and increases their vocabulary. Children
should be adding new words to their vocabulary everyday as they continue
to grow and mature.
While looking at books, point to pictures and describe what you see. Ask
your child to point to pictures and ask questions about pictures in the book.
These are all easy steps you can use in your child’s first years
of life to help them develop their communication skills!
Gunnison Valley Health
711 North Taylor Street | Gunnison, CO 81230 | 970-641-1456