In the fifth show in my series 11 Skills Toddlers Must Use BEFORE Words Emerge, we’ll be talking about the second skill:
RESPONDS TO PEOPLE
I can’t overemphasize how important this skill is in helping a child learn to communicate. Here’s why…
Communicating always involves at least 2 people. When a child doesn’t routinely respond and interact when you try to talk to him, play with him, or teach him something, it’s highly unlikely he’s learning anything!
In my experience, parents first begin to suspect there’s a problem with a child’s development when he or she seems to ignore other people or avoid contact. Sometimes parents mis-characterize a child as being stubborn or lazy when the real problem is, he doesn’t know how to respond. We talked about this A LOT on the show today. Listen to my explanations.
The good news is…
YOU CAN MAKE IT BETTER!
Using the simple, straightforward tips in this podcast, you’ll help a child learn to notice you and eventually, begin to interact with you. Here’s a summary of my recommendations:
- Get down on his or her level.
- Place yourself where the child is most likely to look.
- Give a child a reason to include you. Make yourself FUN to look at and sound FUN to listen to!
- Do what he likes.
- Emphasize interaction (eye contact, closeness, a sense that the child wants to be with you) over every other goal, no matter what you’re doing with a child.
- Play, play, play! And when you’re sick of all that, play some more!
- Reward attention to you.
I’ve written a whole therapy manual about helping a child learn to respond and participate. The book is Teach Me To Play WITH You which provides step-by-step instructions for 50+ little social games and easy play routines for toddlers who don’t consistently respond to other people.
Have you missed the other shows in this series? No worries! Listen here:
Ready to move on??? Next week’s show is here! #280 – Developing an Attention Span
OR get the shows free on iTunes. Search Teach Me To Talk in the iTunes stores.
Questions? Comments? I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a reply below!
Until next week…. Laura