Dealing with Delayed Speech and Language Development

Father Teaching His SonWhen you notice that your child is not yet speaking at an age when he should be, he might be having delayed speech and language development. Dealing with this problem can be difficult not only for your child, but for you as well. This is the reason it’s always best to consult a professional about this. There are ways that you, as a parent, can do to help your child improve his speaking and language development.

Communicate

This may sound a no-brainer, but many parents fail to do this. Talking to a child should start during pre-natal stage. Others even start talking to their babies even when they were still inside the womb.

You should spend more time talking or maybe singing to your child. You will not just have a good time together, but you may also help your child come up with his first words.

Read together

You can start reading to your child when he reaches his sixth month. Use books that are interactive, like those that have buttons they can press to play a song. Simple pop-up books may also help. Then you can read more stories, which will need more of his understanding, like those that has problems he can solve. You can also have him try to identify words or sing rhymes together.

Use assistive devices

Augmentative and alternative communication or AAC devices, according to industry professional Cadanat.com are those that deliver words and sentences. For children who cannot express themselves through verbal communication, using a speech-generating device can be a great help. This may be an electronic device or as simple as picture cards.

This, you may think, mean that you have accepted the fact that your child cannot speak. But in reality, there are studies showing that AAC devices may actually help improve a child’s communication skills – verbally and non-verbally. Using one may also help your child socialize more, instead of spending time on their own.

No to “baby talk”

When you talk to your child, communicate as if he is an adult. Use simpler words that he will understand carefully, though. You can ask him simple questions like what color he is wearing, then accept what he gives you as an answer no matter how jumbled his speech is. Try to correct him nicely when he says something wrong.

Do not rush things. Consider how old your baby is, as there are things a child can and cannot speak at a certain age. Be patient with your child. A parent’s love and support never fails to help.