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Speech Suggestions

NATHHAN News - Spring 1997

 "…OT do dabble in some areas of speech but more in the oral- motor part, not the verbal pronunciation part. Young children can not pronounce several sounds because their motor skills are not developed---I will have to look up my printed stuff to tell you the exact sounds and ages but at his age the sounds", "l", "g", "t", "f and some more are not in his ability to clearly pronounce them. This does not mean he has a speech problem. All children are like this and substitute with similar sounds. My youngest does it too and he is almost 3 ½ years old. Maybe your OT has a hearing problem and can not hear correctly, especially young children’s words LOL."

Suggestion for activities to help with speech:

Between one and two

Reward and encourage early efforts at saying new words. Talk to your baby about everything you’re doing when you’re with him. Talk simply, clearly, and slowly to your child. Talk about new situations before you go, while you’re there, and again when you are home. Look at your child when he or she talks to you. Describe what your child is doing, feeling, hearing. Let your child listen to children’s records and tapes. Praise your child’s efforts to communicate.

Between two and three

Repeat new words over and over. Help your child listen and follow instructions by playing games. Pick up the ball, touch daddy’s nose, Take your child on trips and talk about what you see before, during, and after the trip. Let your child tell you answers to simple questions. Read books every day, parents as part of the bedtime routine. Listen attentively as your child talks to you. Describe what you are doing, planning, thinking. Have the child deliver a simple message for you. Carry on conversations with the child, preferably when the two of you have some quiet time together. Ask questions to get your child to think and talk. Show the child you understand what he or she says by answering, smiling, and nodding your head. Expand what the child says. If he or she says, "more juice," you say, "Adam wants more juice."

Between three and four

Talk about how objects are the "same" or "different." Help your child to tell stories using books and pictures. Let your child play with other children. Read longer stories to your child. Pay attention to your child when he’s talking. Talk about places you’ve been, or will be going.

Between four and five

Help your child sort objects and things

(ex. Things you eat, animals…). Teach your child how to use the telephone. Let your child help you plan activities, such as what you will make for Thanksgiving dinner. Continue talking to him about his interests. Read longer stories to him. Let her tell and make up stories for you. Show your pleasure when she comes to talk to you."