• How to Assist a Child's Speech and Language Development


    Articulation (Speech):

    • Discourage use of "baby talk"
    • Praise your child for clear/correct sound production ("I really like the way you said that!")
    • In your own speech, stress sounds that your child has difficulty making clearly
    • Engage in activities which "exercise" the tongue and lips, such as blowing bubbles and making "silly" faces
    • Have your child try to imitate different sounds while looking at a mirror

    Receptive Language:

    • Read frequently to your child. Name and point to pictures in the book 
    • Encourage your child to follow directions. Start off with short directions and then start to make them longer
    • Ask your child longer and more complex "Yes or No" questions
    • Have your child name objects from verbal descriptions

    Expressive Language:

    • Encourage your child to expand his or her vocabulary by naming and labeling things around them
    • Encourage your child to put words together. If your child is capable of making phrases or short sentences, praise him or him for longer responses. 
    • When your child makes a sentence with errors in it, repeat it back to the child correctly (Child: "I seed him" Parent: "Oh, you saw him.")


    • Discourage vocal abuse behaviors, such as screaming, "funny voices", growling, etc
    • Encourage your child to drink water
    • Praise your child for appropriate use of voice


    • Avoid phrases such as, "slow down", "stop and think about what you're going to say", etc. These types of cues actually increase dysfluency 
    • Give your child as much time as needed to respond 
    • Reduce the "stress" places on the child when he or she is speaking
    • Slow your own speaking rate