I am a play therapist, so I work with many speech-delayed children birth-age 3. I work with children daily and helping a toddler with a speech delay is one of the many things that we do, as play therapists. Today I wanted to share some of my favorite activities that you can do, today, at home, to help your little one to overcome a speech delay.
Teach him sign language (it has been proven to help them speak faster) . I focus on the biggies: more, mine, help, Mommy, Daddy, please, thank you (please & thank you are added in there just to teach your little one good manners!)
-Make magnets for your refrigerator that has his favorite things (juice, cereal…) and when he wants something, he can bring that to you. (make sure he can’t choke on them- I use a large flat magnet – one of the free ones that comes to the house with real estate info. on it. I glue a white sheet of card-stock on it and cut into squares. I then draw pictures onto them with the things that your child might need: cup, food, bed, favorite toy, etc… We are trying to ELIMINATE frustration because kids with a speech delay often become frustrated easily. (wouldn’t you?)
Spend 40 minutes just “playing” with him several times a day. Use simple words “Car fast!” or “Red ball”.
Work with simple picture flash cards (or get a flash card app for babies or toddlers- they are free). Say the name of the object & have them repeat it. Labeling is HUGE for kids with a speech delay.
ACTIVITIES USING STRAWS:
- Take a straw & let him blow through it to make a cotton ball move (have the cotton ball on the table). This will help with the muscles needed for speech.
-- Drink with a straw for different textures (water, milk, applesauce, milkshakes)…
-Use silly straws for drinking.
Put some things out of reach that you know your child will want (favorite book, favorite toy) and they will have to ask you for help when getting it. Teach them to come and get you and take you (by the hand) to what he/she wants OR by getting you the magnet off of the fridge (did you read that tip above?)
Show the sign for help and say “Help”.
-PRAISE THEIR EFFORTS! These are just some things that I practice with my speech delayed clients & that I have done with our own children.
FOR MORE INFORMATION or to contact your local early intervention office, this post might be helpful to you: What Is Play Therapy? I will point you to the right contacts and help you to get started with your child’s therapy services.
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