Learning to talk is one of the most important skills in a child's development.

 

Getting speech therapy is an excellent way to encourage your child to start understanding vocabulary and producing speech (expressive language).

 

Unfortunately, it is usually restricted to a few hours a week. Especially if it is supplied through the public system, it could take a long time to have a consistent speech therapist assigned to your child which could delay productive outcome.

 

So the question is what can you, the parent, do to encourage and help your toddler's language skills?

Thankfully, there is quite a lot you can do:

 

  • Find out the underlying reason for the speech delay.
  • There are multiple reasons for speech delay. Some children simply prefer to develop motor skills first rather than start talking and need just a little bit of nudge to get to talk (they will probably not ever stop once they do!). Some children, on the other hand, may have a more serious underlying condition such as:
        - motor muscle problems or weak oral muscles and/or other physical conditions,
        - cognitive (intellectual/thinking) or other developmental delays, 
        - hearing impairments, 
        - autism
        - motor muscle problems or weak oral muscles and/or other physical conditions,
    and each one requires a different approach that you should discuss with your therapist.
  
  • Be involved. 
    The difference between success and failure of speech therapy is often the parents' involvement. Try to know what your therapist is currently focusing on and try to repeat situations, games and activities that your child has been doing with the speech therapist.

 

  • What about dedicated speech and language products.

Depending on the underlying cause, a speech and language product may be very useful to help your child with language delay. Sookie and Finn DVD products are designed precisely for this purpose. Check how our products can help you encourage your child's speech and language development:

More Info

 

For speech therapists' and parents' reviews of our DVD:

Reviews  

 

Alternatively, for further resources, including further guidance on what you can do:

Resources