Delayed Language – Follow Their Lead

By August 14, 2015delayed language, L2

If your child has delayed language, this can be a difficult things for a parent to learn. When your child has delayed language sometimes it might feel like you always have to be doing something, except the times when you’re doing the best work to improve your child’s language, it will look and feel like you aren’t doing anything at all.

Following your child’s lead starts with a change in how you think about how you relate and play with your child. Instead of trying to convince your child to do what you think they should be doing, the focus is on whatever it is that interests them. Try and take their point of view. Everything around them is new and exciting. Talking about an awesome shiny spoon that goes bang bang when you hit it on a table is far more important for language than a game your child isn’t interested in right then. Go where they go, get on the floor, crawl, roll, have fun.

When your child is interested in something, it has their attention. They’ve focused their senses on it and ready to learn all about it. Because you’re following their lead, you’re talking about it. “spoon! A shiny spoon!” And because you’re following, you’re just talking about what they’re interested in, we’re not asking questions or trying to get them to do anything, we’re just having a good time talking about something interesting and delighting in the curiosity of your child. Children have a wonderful ability to make the world seem new and beautiful, it’s one of the best things about working with them.

Today, watch your child. Look at what they like to do, then make the commitment to follow them and talk about what interests them.

Author Gam

Gam loves using his skills as a speech therapist to help school-age kids with literacy difficulties (reading, comprehension, sound awareness, the whole bag!) and as a person who used to have a stutter as a child, is interested in stuttering as well. With lots of experience as a speech pathologist working with people with autism and a patient, flexible, client-directed style, Gam is good at making speech therapy fun and not ‘work’. Gam is also the author of a journal article, published in Cortex, Impaired semantic inhibition during lexical ambiguity repetition in Parkinson’s disease. Gam is a registered provider under the FaHCSIA Helping Children with Autism and Better Start programmes. When he isn’t doing something more fun, like therapy, he’s also the director of ChatBox (Brisbane Speech Pathology).

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