5 Steps To Ensure Your Child Has Adequate Speech And Language Skills
Your child's language and speech abilities are not only important to making valuable connections with others, they are also a huge key to being successful in all aspects of life. To determine that your child continually has adequate speech and language skills, take the following 5 steps:
1) Learn the developmental milestones.
It's important to understand the developmental milestones your child should be achieving at each stage of life so that you can monitor your child's progress. Understanding the general expectations for speech and language development will help you to:
- Be a key instrument in your child's development.
- Recognize small steps in the right direction as well as possible weaknesses.
- Give you concrete objectives to work towards.
2) Spend time daily exposing your child to speech and language.
Exposing your child to as much speech and language as possible on a daily basis will help stimulate your child's language development. You can do simple things like:
- Read books to your child.
- Take your child on a walk and talk about the things you see.
- Narrate activities out loud as you and your child participate in the daily routine.
3) Work on your child's weaknesses and watch for improvements.
Find areas that your child can improve in, and then look for resources that suggest methods for improvement in those areas. Note which methods are successful and give your child adequate praise when he or she makes noticeable strides.
4) Seek help when necessary.
Your child may need consistent help throughout his or her schooling or may only need temporary speech therapy to make necessary progress. In either case, it's important that you seek help if you don't have the time and/or tools to help your child in areas in which he or she is behind. Remind yourself that not every child's struggles are as apparent as speech and language skills, but all children do struggle with something.
5) Create a plan of action!
Based on your personal evaluation or a professional speech therapist's evaluation of your child's speech and language abilities, create an action plan that will either:
- Keep your child on track or
- Get your child on track with his or her age group
Set goals for reaching specific speech and language milestones, and set up a reward system if necessary to motivate your child to reach those goals. You know your child best and can really help him or her feel empowered and confident enough to keep moving forward.
There are plentiful resources available online or in public and private schools to help you work on speech and language skills with your child. Whatever stage your child is in currently, you can start now to be a part of your child's language development. For more information you can contact a local speech therapist, like Felix M. DiPalma, M.S.