Is your toddler not talking as much as he or she should be? Don’t panic! Below are some strategies for creating opportunities for vocalizations. Remember, ALWAYS reward your child with the toy immediately after they attempt to say the target!
5 Strategies To Get Your Late Talker To Communicate:
- Leave a desired food item that is just out of reach of the child, but within their eyesight. Food is one of the BEST motivators for communication. If you’re just starting out with therapy, try to make mealtimes as the time you look for opportunities to encourage communication with your child.
- Engage in a favorite social game (i.e. tickle time, peek-a-boo or patty-cake) with your child for one or two turns then stop and look expectantly at the child. If they need a prompt to ask you to continue, go ahead and give it! Try to stop a few times and see if your child is able to request to continue the game spontaneously.
- Bubbles are your new best friend! Open a jar, blow some and then close the jar. Hand the jar to the child and wait.
- Place a toy in a clear plastic container with a lid and give it to your child. Allow them to be curious for a minute, then ask “Do you need help?” If they respond with yes, model “Help me”. Repeat until they can request help on their own! This also works well with closed doors that toddlers are not able to open without an adult!
- Use a slinky or toy microphone for fun vocal play. Take a turn and model either a silly, extended sound or an appropriate language model, then offer the child a turn. You can play with volume, pitch or rate of speech!