Hello, parents! If you are reading this blog, you are probably concerned about your little one’s speech and language development. You have probably spoken with your child’s pediatrician about your concerns. You might have contacted your local Early Intervention team and have registered your child for speech and language services. But you want to do more. Your child is getting therapy but you aren’t getting the advice you need. You want to know how to help you child when all the professionals are gone for the day. When you and your child are alone you want to say, think, and do whatever will be best for helping him/her learn words. But you are not a child development expert. Other than a five minute conversation at the end of a therapy session, or some simple therapy notes or summaries, you are not taught specifically how to engage your child in the language development process.
So, what can you do to help your child learn?
First, know that you are on the right track! Research has shown that identifying a language lag and starting speech and language therapy early is important. Children do not outgrow language lags. Language lags just change overtime and become more difficult to improve! There are many tried and true techniques that work for most kids. The therapists are skilled at matching the right techniques with the right child and developing a therapy plan.
Second, your feelings are “right on”! You do need to be a big part of your little one’s language development process. Not only you, but all family members and other caregivers (siblings, grandparents, nannies, and babysitters) are as important as the work of the professionals. Children learn language as they play, eat, take baths, get dressed and undressed, go shopping….In other words, children learn language during their everyday activities with the people who love them best. The trick is for parents and caregivers to learn some basic and special techniques for choosing the right words to say at the right times.
So, let Dr. Fran at SpeechDocFran, PLLC offer you a program designed to fit your lifestyle. We teach you how to be the best role model for language that your child can have. All the professionals in the world can’t replace you. And, most programs that offer speech and language therapy to little children offer very little coaching for parents.
In the meantime, here is a link to The Hanen Program Tips for Parents (http://www.hanen.org/Helpful-Info/Parent-Tips.aspx) which is based in Toronto, Canada. This program has lots of helpful information for parents and caregivers.
Check back here for future blog posts with more helpful hints and links.