May is Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) and our team is ready to kick off the celebration. BHSM helps to raise awareness of communication disorders for those who have difficulties speaking, hearing, and understanding. It’s crucial to spread awareness so that other people have a deeper understanding of common communication disorders and can assist those who are struggling.
Speech disorders affect all types of people and typically start at an early age. If you’re concerned that your child may be falling behind in their speech and language development, or are simply looking for some ways to help them work on their communication skills, we can help! Read on for some age-appropriate tips that you can use with your little ones:
Children 0-2 Years Old:
- Try and get your child to mimic gestures. Start with simple ones such as clapping, waving, and nodding.
- Say, “mama” or “dada” to your child and work towards getting them to repeat the sounds back to you.
- Make facial expressions when your child makes sounds or says words.
- Read your child a simple board book nightly and point out/ label various objects to them . Describe to them what’s happening on each page and get expressive as you’re reading.
- Make animal sounds such as “moo” or “baa” and have them try and repeat the sounds. While doing this, you can also teach your child which animal makes each sound.
Children 2-4 Years Old:
- Help your child pronounce their words more clearly by repeating what they said the correct way.
- Encourage your child to ask for things that they want rather than pointing to them.
- Ask your child simple questions such as, “what is your name?” or “what is your favorite toy?” and proceed to let them answer.
- Point to objects around the room and teach your child what they are.
- Sing simple songs and nursery rhymes with your child.
Children 4-6 Years Old:
- Pause after speaking to your child so that they have time to process what you said and respond.
- Watch television with your child and ask them questions about the show such as, “who is your favorite character?” or “what was your favorite part of the show?”.
- Ask your child questions about what activities they did during the day and what type of foods they ate.
- Let your child help you cook simple meals and give them step-by-step directions that they’ll need to follow, such as, “pour the sugar in the bowl, now, mix the batter.”
- Read books with your child and have them describe what’s going on in each scene or ask them to summarize the story at the end.
Happy Better Hearing and Speech Month! Follow us on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) all month long for more tips, resources, and activities. If you find that your child is falling behind in their speech and language development, please don’t hesitate to contact our team to discuss if your little one could benefit from pediatric therapy. We are happy to help support your child and family in any way that we can.