We are eagerly awaiting our child's first sounds. Cooing, laughing, unique words only he can understand, later clear: "mom", "aunt", "home", etc. And when you don't hear those words? How to encourage and activate the child's language development? And when to turn to specialists?
A child learns to speak only by communicating with adults - this is the main rule of language development. A child's language is directly affected by social and cultural experiences, so parents who are happy when their little one plays quietly in the corner while they can take a breather or turn their attention to screens - be vigilant. The more favorable the environment, the better the conditions for the development of the child's language, therefore the task of parents: to speak and talk to their little ones from early infancy.
The (un)guilty of screen time
Tiredness when raising children is a constant and self-evident companion of mom and dad. In the future, we will hardly imagine a little one who does not know what a touch screen is. It's a handy tool for parents when we want to have a quiet chat over a cup of tea, talk on the phone, enjoy a restaurant meal or just have a minute to ourselves, and an alarm signal for babies whose brains are extremely resistant to blue rays. Our advice is to draw very clear limits on screen time from an early age and stick to them, and in a moment of weakness, think about the future damage that this currently innocent time looking at changing images will cause: slower development of the child, including language, inability to concentrate on activities, hyperactivity, irritability. Let's take a breath and come up with one more, already a thousandth way to interest our child. After all, who if not us?
- the people around you don't understand what your 3.5-year-old is saying. a child, even if you understand him perfectly;
- the child speaks his own language, which is incomprehensible to those around him;
- the toddler reluctantly repeats words and sentences.
It is also recommended to contact a speech therapist if a 4-5-year-old child pronounces irregularly, confuses, misses any speech sounds, stutters, is silent or speaks very quickly.
What can I do?
Talk to the child in the language of adults, not children. The more clearly you pronounce words and express your thoughts, the more you will contribute to the child's language development. Also, the child's language is developed by various fine motor activities: create mosaics, put together puzzles, construct, draw, weave beads. Do not push the child away if he asks a lot, answer him clearly, understandably and in as much detail as possible - this way you will expand the child's vocabulary. Encourage them to name things rather than point to them. Read books, recite poems, sing songs and flip through photo albums! At the end of the day, discuss the events together. These are simple rituals that greatly contribute to the development of a child's language.
A speech therapist is a friend
The help of a speech therapist is common practice even for school-age children. Parents who are hesitating whether to contact a specialist should pay attention to the fact that children with language disorders experience learning and communication difficulties at school age. After learning to pronounce sounds correctly, developing phonemic hearing and developing the skills of sound analysis and synthesis of words, the child will learn to read and write much more easily.
It is very important that parents cooperate with the speech therapist. Be sure to complete the tasks for homework, as well as allocate time to work with the child. In order to achieve good results, we should practice language development for at least a few minutes every day.
Where are the results?
The problem arises when it is not the child, but his parents who expect a quick and easy result, and say that they do not feel the child's progress. It is important to emphasize that the work of a speech therapist is a consistent and long process, which is definitely worth the effort, but the fruits of the work can sometimes be seen only after a few years.
Don't forget to be happy and proud of your child! Praise him for his efforts in completing tasks, create language development rituals, encourage him, because the best prize for everyone awaits in the future - smooth and simple communication of a small person!
When looking for a specialist, pay attention to one who will become a friend and authority for the little one, cooperate with him and do not forget that everyone's goal on this path is the same. Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Patience and good luck.