If your child has a speech delay, it may be time to take him to a speech therapist. If your child cannot speak or cannot be understood by the age of three, it is most likely a speech delay. Even if you can understand your child, if a stranger or someone that isn't a member of the family cannot understand much of what your child is saying, it's time for professional help. There are also things you can do to help your child at home. Read on for some tips to get your child speaking.
Stop Speaking For Your Child
If you are always speaking for your child, he isn't going to be able to answer for himself , which can delay speech further. Stop speaking for your child, answering questions, and allowing pointing or using other gestures to communicate. Encourage your child to speak for himself and when he gestures, say the word to help encourage speech as well. Use simple speech to get your child to not only understand, but to say the words himself.
Engage Your Child With Playtime
Play games and engage in playtime with your child. Ask your child questions about the game or toy you are playing with. If you are playing with a car or a train, talk to your child about colors or about how fast they are going. Ask your child where did the car go, or what color the car is. Other manipulatives such as Play-doh can also be a great way to engage your child. Have your child create different things with the Play-doh and then ask your child about what they created. Point out the different colors used or different shapes. Use simple wording and have your child repeat the words.
Be Patient With Your Child
It is sometimes frustrating when you can't understand your child, but it is also frustrating for your child as well. This frustration may lead to a relapse in your child's progress. Try to be as patient as you can with your child. Your patience is going to help your child. Don't be too pushy when teaching your child at home. Work with your child, but don't make it feel like work - it should feel more like play time.
If you suspect your child has a speech delay, talk to your child's pediatrician about speech therapy. You can follow the tips above to help at home, and follow the advice from the therapist as well.