This has to be the question I’m asked most often by parents: How do I get my toddler to say that word?! Perhaps you’ve heard them use a word once or twice, but when you ask them to say it again there’s no reply. So what can we do? In this video I share a few suggestions to shift that focus and support your child’s communication.
When children are just starting to talk, it’s really helpful to shift the focus from a child saying a word lots of times to hearing that word lots of times. Pick a handful of core words that you and the other people around your child can focus on modelling whenever possible. And use lots of big gestures when you’re modelling those key words. This way, your child can join in with your gesture, even if they’re not yet confident in saying the word themselves. Here’s a video all about using gestures.
It’s also useful to leave nice long pauses in your talk, so that if your child does know the word they might chime in and fill that gap for you. And if they’re not sure of the word, no problem, you can simply finish the sentence yourself.
What words does your child show an interest in? Here’s five first words that I often focus on with children that come to see me for speech and language therapy sessions.