Parent Communication Strategies for Child’s Developing Speech and Language

Auditory Bombardment: This an exercise in which children hear a target sound accurately produced several times in a short period of time. For example, reading a story that has numerous occurrences of the target sound is “bombarding” the child with that particular sound. This gives the adult the opportunity to model, emphasize and repeat the sound correctly for the child to hear. Other examples include the memory game, magnetic fishing game or Bingo games which are specifically created around one target sound; all the pictures begin with the same sound.

This strategy is also used when addressing language syntax. Model for the child the accurate sentence structure. etc

Self Talk: This is when you are using short sentences to talk about what you are seeing, hearing or doing when you are with your child. For example, when you are making cookies you may say “Mommy is making cookies! I am putting the chocolate chips in the batter! I am stirring. I am going to put them in the oven” and so on.

Parallel Talk: Parallel talk is similar to self talk, except rather than talking about what you are seeing, hearing or doing you are talking about your child is seeing, hearing or doing. So, when your child is playing with blocks you might say “Wow! You just built a tower! Oh you have the blue block. You threw the red block! Let’s see how many blocks there are, one, two, three blocks (said when he is stacking the blocks)” Notice in parallel talk, you are not asking questions of the child but rather narrating their actions and modeling language.

Joint Action Routines: A joint action routine is a specific strategy to encourage communication. It refers to the natural language paradigm, which involves arranging the child’s environment in a way that supports and increases opportunities to use language. Specifically, a joint action routine creates a routine interaction between two or more people through frequent repetition and rehearsal of target language within a function or motivating activity. The goal of joint action routines is to develop spontaneous conversation and increased social understanding. Examples of Joint action routine scenarios: Bath time, making cookies, playing with play dough, bed time, hygiene, blowing bubbles, etc.

What Our Clients Are Saying

We first noticed our son was not progressing the same rate as his peers around 18 months; he was significantly behind verbally. He knew a few animal sounds, rarely said, “Mom” or “Dad,” and became easily frustrated when trying to communicate his needs. We knew he needed an intervention. As a mom, it is easy to get caught up in the possible “what ifs” for your children and my mind quickly created several scenarios as to why he was struggling. This is the first thing I appreciated about Jenn with Breaking Barriers. She listened very carefully, validated my concerns, and kindly but objectively evaluated my son. Our first session was so enjoyable. We were met with bubbles and blocks and left with several strategies to try before our next consultation. Throughout the six months of intervention, we were given a wealth of resources, activities to try at home, as well as the confidence and reassurance that our son would make the appropriate amount of growth. He is now 3 years old and besides keeping all of us laughing and on our toes, uses words like, “precious,” phrases such as, “Oh my goodness Mom this is so scrumptious!” and is easily able to communicate exactly what he needs. We have come a long way and will be forever grateful for the patience and expertise of Jenn at Breaking Barriers!

Shami C.

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