Every day I hear from parents of toddlers with language delays who share with me their biggest regret…
Waiting to mention to the pediatrician that they’re worried about their child
Waiting to make the call to set up an evaluation
Even waiting to try to do anything on their own to help their baby
Waiting may seem like a good option when you’re not sure what else to do.
But the problem with waiting is that it can drive you crazy! Even though you try not to worry, you feel that internal tug to DO something….to try something.
If you’re the parent of a late talker, I can help you with that. I can teach you what to do at home TODAY to help your child begin to say words.
This week I’ll be sending out a series of emails with practical strategies any parent (or therapist!) can use immediately to get language going. (If you’re not on the list, you can be! Click back to the home page and subscribe.)
Here’s today’s tip….
Introduce verbal routines.
What’s a verbal routine?
A verbal routine is a set of words that are repeated at a predictable time during an activity.
We use verbal routines any time we say…
the same words, in the same way, for the same things, at the same time
For example, common verbal routines are things like saying, “Ready, Set, Go!” as you roll a truck across the floor.
Verbal routines are powerful for kids who don’t talk yet. They’re often the missing link for many late talkers. I say “missing” link because most parents don’t know how to use a verbal routine or how effective it can be.
In my 20+ year career as a speech-language pathologist, I’ve found that the toddlers who respond best to this tip are ones who understand words, but who don’t respond when you tell them, “Say ____.” A child’s reluctance to try to repeat words can leave a parent feeling helpless and like there’s nothing that will work.
Thankfully, setting up verbal routines DOES WORK for many late talking toddlers.
Our brains are wired for recognition.
When you use the same words during a specific sequence of events, a child begins to recognize the routine and respond. Once the routine is familiar, the child begins to participate, link meaning to the words, and then finally, say the words himself.
Here’s how we introduce verbal routines:
Say the same words, in the same way, for the same things, at the same time.
For example, every time you get ready to pick up your child, you could say, “Up, up, up!” And then when you’re going to put him down, you say, “1…2…3…down!”
Or you could sing little songs and tie them to your daily routines. For instance, when you’re getting a child dressed, you could sing these words to the tune of “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush.”
“This is the way we put on socks, put on socks, put on socks. This is the way we put on socks, early in the morning.”
After a while of using the routine, you’ll begin to pause to wait for your child to fill in the missing words.
There are additional “tricks” for making verbal routines even more powerful for late talkers. If you’d like step-by-step instructions, you can find those in my hour-long online video Creating Verbal Routines. You’ll learn how to implement this successful technique today with things you already do at home every day .
I won’t just tell you how to do Verbal Routines…. I’ll show you! You’ll see over 30 minutes of video clips from REAL LIFE speech therapy sessions when I’ve used Verbal Routines to teach toddlers and young preschoolers to talk. You’ll see parents right there participating in therapy, working with their child, and most of all, having fun!
In addition to the online video, you’ll receive an eight-page written guide to pair with the activities demonstrated on the video. If you’re a parent, you’ll have instructions in your hands to help you remember what you’re supposed to do! If you’re a therapist, you’ll have written information to share with parents as you use this strategy during therapy sessions. Essentially, you’ll be starting a family’s at home therapy program.
So instead of waiting, get started right now with the online video! It’s effective, convenient, and affordable – only $19.99. Click here to purchase and watch today!!
Laura Mize, M.S., CCC-SLP
Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist
In some cases, the link to the video may expire after a few days. If this happens to you, email me at Laura@teachmetotalk.com and I’ll send you a new link you can access forever!
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