Are you working with a late talker with slow progress?
Late talkers who add words s..l..o..w..l..y are often missing one or more of the foundational skills for language development.
That’s why they seem to get “stuck.” Kids like this make a little bit of progress, learn a few new words, and then nothing…. for days, or weeks, or sometimes even months.
Speech-language pathologists refer to the skills they’re missing as prelinguistic skills. If that’s a new word for you, prelinguistic is a way to describe or what happens before (pre) words (linguistic).
If you have a child or are working with a little friend who is nonverbal or minimally verbal, you should carefully consider these skills.
You may find what you’ve been missing to help a child begin to add words more consistently.
Once you identify what skill is missing and target that one little piece, often a child will FINALLY break-through that plateau.
Sometimes a child is missing a few skills and it will take longer, but finally… those first sweet words start flowing!
Everyone loves it when that happens!
When I first began to target prelinguistic skills as the focus for therapy for any little friend, regardless of their ‘diagnosis,’ I began to see more consistent progress across my caseload, especially in the kids who were “hard” or “stuck.”
Analyzing these 11 prelinguistic skills in a late talker can make THE difference for you – whether you’re a therapist or a parent.
I have two ways you can access this information…
1. For readers…. here’s the book.
1. Complete the easy checklist of prelinguistic skills for a child by reading the descriptions.
2. Determine what you should work on using the recommendations on the chart and in the book.
3. Flip to the chapter for that skill for step-by-step directions including lots of different therapy activities that work for late talking toddlers.
4. Get busy!
The therapy plan is practically written for you! If you like to have things all laid out for you and want a resource you can refer to again and again, get the book!
2. Or watch and listen!
I have a whole series of shows to teach you these 11 prelinguistic skills that ALL toddlers master before they begin to talk and communicate.
This series is a tremendous resource and I hope that this information helps you as much as it’s helped me! Here’s a link for a page
with all the episodes in this series. I’d love it if you’d share it with other parents and therapists.
Therapists – All 12 shows are available for CE credit and I wanted to post links in one gigantic post in case you missed any show or still need to get your CE credit for only $5 per course. Generate your certificate via email.
**Each course is approved in IL EI too!**
When you purchase CE credit, you’ll receive a pdf perfect for reviewing with parents.
The handouts are also great tools for telehealth visits. Use them as your session plan. Send the pdf before the visit as a way to structure your session and introduce strategies. Or send the pdf after the session as a follow up.
Parents asked us for a way to purchase the pdf without the CE credit, and that’s an option now too! Check that out here.
The first show is an overview of all 11 prelinguistic skills with a great discussion of the foundational skills for language development, especially if you’re a therapist and need a way to explain to parents why we work on more than talking. If your child is in therapy and you’re not sure why he is or isn’t talking yet, this show below will help you understand. These are the kinds of things parents of toddlers and preschoolers with language delays need to hear during assessments and initial visits. The YouTube video is below and here’s that show link for CE credit… #385.
In the next 11 shows, each skill is reviewed in detail with an explanation of why this skill is critical for language development and how to begin to work on each skill with a toddler who is not yet communicating. Start by watching the first show
below. As you’re listening, you’ll hear areas that you’ll have questions about. Keep a little list, even mentally, and then go back and begin listening to those shows. Always start with the lowest number of show first and address that area since these skills are “loosely” sequential. Work on that area (goal) with a child until you see some gains, and then move on to the next skill.
It really is that easy to get started.
Skill #1 Responds to Things in the Environment
. This is the starting point for therapy for babies and toddlers with severe developmental delays – often due to a medical diagnosis or sensory difference like vision or hearing issues. Here’s that show link… Watch or listen for treatment strategies. #386
Skill #2 Responds to People
. Communicating always involves at least 2 people. Kids who avoid others or check out when you try to talk to them are at a huge disadvantage for learning language. BUT… you can make it better using the strategies discussed on the show. #387
Skill #3 Begins to Take Turns.
If you’re not working on this with nonverbal or minimally verbal little ones, you should be! Kids learn to take turns noonverbally before they can talk to you in conversation. Here’s the link. #388
Skill #4 Develops a Longer Attention Span
. Find out why attention is so important for language development, what’s normal for toddlers, and how to improve this in your busiest little ones. #389
Skill #5 Consistent Joint Attention.
The ability to shift and share attention is an area where kids who go on to be diagnosed with autism really struggle. They can’t learn to listen to your words and link meaning until they learn to stay with you and pay attention to the same thing you’re talking about with them. Learn how to address this with the strategies in this show. #390
Skill #6 Develops Appropriate Play Skills.
Play is such an important predictor for cognition and for helping drive receptive and expressive language. Watch for ideas to help kids who can’t (not won’t!) play with toys! Get play going today! #391
Skill #7 Understands Words and Follows Directions.
Kids must understand words before
they can use them to communicate. If a child is over 18 months old and not following directions, there’s a receptive language component to his lanugage delay. Learn how to help kids jumpstart their receptive language skills. #392
Skill #8 Vocalizes Purposefully.
Being noisy comes first, before words! All children, whether they talk on time or late, progress through a phase of vocal play and experimentation so that they gain practice using their voices. Watch for strategies to help silent children begin to vocalize more consistently. #393
Skill #9 Imitates Others.
Imitation is how all children learn to talk. As parents and therapists of late talkers, we may begin to teach a child to talk by trying to get them to say words, but kids have to learn how to imitate easier, earlier things – like actions, gestures, and play sounds – before
they begin to imitate words. Watch the show for the sequence of teaching imitation and strategies to make it easier for you to teach a child who is having difficulty learning to imitate on his own. #394
Skill #10 Uses Gestures.
You’ll learn why gestures are an important predictor of language development, 2 pieces of critical EBP concerning gestures for SLPs, and how to teach gestures to toddlers and preschoolers with language delays. #395
Skill #11 Initiates with Others.
During this show, you’ll find out the importance of initiation and how to help late talking toddlers learn to take the lead during communicative interactions. Learn real strategies you can teach a child TODAY to get initiation going! #396
Therapists… get 1 hour CE credit for each of these shows for only $5!
Check out the page for this series
or the master entire page of podcast courses
. The process is super easy. Watch or listen to the show. Pay the $5 CEU fee, complete your forms online, and then receive your certificate via email.
We’re so grateful to be able to share this information with you.
IS YOUR CHILD READY TO TALK? Watch below…