Developing Language at Home
As a speech pathologist, I’m constantly asked by parents and friends what they can do to make sure their child’s language is developing. It’s a hard question because we take talking and listening for granted. For anyone that has no difficulties, talking and listening are as simple as breathing. So what would be the one thing that we can do as parents, aunties, uncles, grandparents, carers or friends that will make a difference to children with difficulties? And the one thing that springs to mind is….spending time with them and just talking with them. Not talking at them, but listening to what they want to say and supporting them by asking relevant questions and building up their sentences and providing a good model. As family life gets busier and busier, it is important to slow down and take that 10 minutes each day to sit and talk with your child. You might talk about a favourite part of their day, their favourite movie, what book they read, what was the silliest part of the day or anything else that is important to them. It seems like an additional burden at times, but the reward at the end is not only opportunities to develop language but also fostering a wonderful relationship with them.