Seeing your child excel and having the best possible start to life of arguably one of the most rewarding and pleasurable parts of parenting. One of the ways to ensure that your child is off to a good start right from the get-go is to build a solid foundation in their speech, language, and communication skills. Doing so will not only enable your child to achieve academic success, but it will also equip them with the relevant skills they need to flourish socially and emotionally.
Here are 5 ways to help expand your child’s speech, language, and communication skills.
Did you know that babies begin learning to speak as soon as they are born by listening and learning to imitate the sounds they hear around them? Believe it or not, something as simple as speaking to your child can aid in them developing strong speech, language, and communication abilities!
As your child gets older, it is crucial to use emotional expression and responses to engage. Use your eyes, facial expression, gestures, body language, and intonations to connect and communicate. Your emotions (especially delight, surprise, and anticipation) help to attract their attention and keep them engaged. When you pair your words with emotional expression, it gives your child a better understanding of both the words and the emotions. This deepens the connection you share with their child whilst developing their functional skills in communication, social and emotional interactions with others.
Reading is yet another effective strategy for fostering children’s speech and language development.
Reading with your child exposes them to new words, concepts, and ideas that they might not come across in everyday life. You can also quiz your child on the plot, characters, and themes of the story as you read aloud to them, or create unexpected situations in the story to challenge them towards creativity and new solutions. Use humour, conflict, and novelty. This inspires them to think critically and interact more deeply with the subject matter. Additionally, you can also encourage them to retell the story in their own words or challenge them to give opinions rather than facts (e.g., “what colour do you like best and why?” rather than “which color is this?”), which helps to build their language and memory skills (check out our previous article for more information on how reading can improve your child’s memory).
Present a playful challenge and expand the interactions can be an enjoyable and useful method to promote your child’s circle of communication or back-and-forth interaction. You could think of adding a new element into the play just enough to get prolonged interactions with the child. For example, if your child wants a ball, you can continue to expand the interaction by holding the ball up high until he initiated an interaction. You would prolong it by saying things like “Ball over here or over there?” “Up high or down low?” Your goal is sustained engagement and back-and-forth exchange going as long as we can.
For children who may have trouble communicating verbally, visual aids can be a helpful tool for improving their speech, language, and communication skills. Your child can learn new words by using illustrations, diagrams, and other visual aids.
For instance, you can use visual aids to encourage your child to use non-verbal means of communication, like gestures or drawing, to communicate their thoughts and ideas.
If you have concerns about your child’s speech, language or communication skills, consider enrolling them in an early childhood intervention program in Singapore.
One of the key benefits of an early intervention programme is that it can help to identify potential issues before they worsen. For instance, if a child is struggling to form sentences, early intervention can provide strategies to help them develop these skills before they fall further behind.
Another benefit is that early intervention programmes can help address the underlying issues that are affecting your child’s speech and language development. In some cases, when a child has difficulty with attention and focus, their ability to learn and use language effectively is impacted.
In general, early intervention programmes can be a valuable tool for assisting kids in improving their communication, speech, and language abilities. These programmes can assist kids in realising their maximum potential and succeeding in all facets of life by identifying potential issues early on and providing assistance and resources to address them.
Singapore Brain Development Centre (SBDC) is a child development expert and is home to an effective cognitive training program. Here at SBDC, we recognise that every child is unique, and we believe that teaching and intervention that is targeted and individualised for each child is the most effective method to improve their learning potential.
In order to provide your child with a holistic early childhood development that seeks to help them become school-ready, our early intervention programme integrates therapy into the teaching curriculum.
Our in-house senior therapist continuously assesses each of our students to monitor their progress in the development of their speech, language, and communication skills. In order to ensure your child’s sensory development, our therapist also conducts periodic evaluations of our students.
One of the techniques we employ is DIR Floortime. Essentially, DIR Floortime is a relationship-based developmental strategy that seeks to create meaningful interactions that are tailored to each child’s unique characteristics and that encourage their growth to the fullest extent possible. Rather than focusing solely on a child’s speech, motor or cognitive skills, the DIR Floortime Programme seeks to build healthy and solid foundations for a child’s social, intellectual and emotional capacities.
To learn more, feel free to contact us today!