Sorting Out the 11 Prelinguistic Skills…
HOW DO THEY FIT IN THE 4 AREAS OF FOCUS FOR LATE TALKERS AND TODDLERS WITH LANGUAGE DELAYS/DISORDERS?
If you’ve followed my work for a while, you’ll know that I like hierarchies, charts, lists, and anything else that promotes a system or a “plan” for working with toddlers and preschoolers with communication challenges.
It’s the ONLY way I can keep myself organized and on track!
Otherwise, things get lost in the shuffle. I’ll find myself working on a goal and then I’m dismayed and disappointed (in myself!) when there’s no progress.
I’ve learned the same lesson over and over again in my 25 year career…
WHEN A CHILD ISN’T MAKING PROGRESS, IT’S BECAUSE THE GOAL IS TOO HARD!
Thankfully, I’ve learned to back up and look at the prerequisite skills for that goal – which is always the right thing to do!
I’ve also learned to be as logical as I can be when deciding how to design (and adjust!) a treatment plan for a child.
This brings me to today’s post…
A therapist from another field emailed me and said she had listened to the podcast on the 4 areas of focus for working with young children with language delays. (Listen and read the summary here if you missed it!)
She also said she’s using my therapy manual Let’s Talk About Talking… Ways to Strengthen the 11 Skills Toddlers Master Before Words Emerge.
Her question is…
How do those 11 prelinguistic skills fit in the 4 areas of focus?
I’m so glad she asked!
I’ve been thinking about that too – and actually have discussed it with several moms and therapists, but it’s nice to put it in a post.
For review, the 4 big areas of focus we work on with toddlers and preschoolers with language delays/disorders are:
Receptive Language (which is closely tied to cognition)
Again – if you’ve not read the summary for these areas, check it out in the post I Need a Plan! or listen to the podcast #344 also found in that same article.
Now let’s take the 11 Prelinguistic Skills from Let’s Talk About Talking and categorize each of those using those 4 areas of focus. I’m also including links to other posts that explain each of those skills and point you in the right direction to get started working with a child whose skills need attention in each area.
Remember – these skills are the reasons a child isn’t talking yet. There may be an official diagnosis, of course, but these are the actual skills that are not developing as expected.
- Skill #1 Responds to the Environment
- Skill #4 Develops a Longer Attention Span
- Skill #6 Plays with a Variety of Toys
- Skill #7 Understands Words and Follows Directions
- NONE! (Before we worry about speech intelligibility, toddlers and younger preschoolers should be talking frequently using lots of phrases pulled from their core vocabularies of several hundred words – meaning their language skills are near an age or developmentally appropriate level. More about this in my upcoming therapy manual about speech intelligibility in toddlers!)
So… there you have it!
A list that combines how to think about organizing the 11 prelinguistic skills in the context of the 4 big areas of focus.
I hope this makes sense to you!
If you need more direction, I’ll be addressing it in an upcoming podcast! Stay tuned!!