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Patient Resources

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