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Boost Your Child’s Speech: 7 Tricks and Tips to Facilitate Language

1. Sing Songs to Help Your Child Say More Words! Sing a familiar song frequently with your child and then pause before the last word in a verse. Look at your child expectantly and wait. If they don’t try to fill it in the first time, that’s ok. Just say the word for them and keep going!

2. Is your child resistant to learning something you are trying to teach them? Change it up and let them be the teacher! See them become more engaged in their new role. You can be the student or you can team up with your child to teach some dolls or stuffed animals. “We need to teach Teddy that S says sss, not mmm! He keeps getting it wrong!” Make it silly and fun!

3. Make a speech routine for your routines. Use the same phrases in everyday routines to help your child link the language to the activity. For example, say: “sit down. socks on, shoes on, stand up!” every time you put shoes on. Once they know a routine well, pause during it and see if they fill in the words!

4. Play in the mirror with your child! Encourage your child to look in the mirror with you and make some funny faces and sounds. Seeing how their mouth can move and how the mouth looks for different sounds can help children start to babble, play with sounds, and say new words.

5. What should you do when your child pronounces words incorrectly? Repeat the word with the correct pronunciation and emphasize the sound(s) they are having trouble with. DON'T ask them to repeat the word or give a lecture on how they are saying it incorrectly. Make sure you respond to WHAT your child is telling you over how they are saying it. How'd they do?

6. Expand your child's language! Repeat what your child says but add to it. If your child says "car", you can say "blue car", "go car", or "car please!" This shows your child how to start putting more words together.

7. Can your child make a choice when you ask them what they want? Try holding up one food they really like and one food they really don't like, and then ask "Do you want a cookie or broccoli?" and help your child point to or say the one they like. If your child tends to repeat the last thing you say, start by offering the preferred food last to help them.

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