Why won’t he say words when I ask him to? – Ideas to support Speech and Language

You want to know what your child can do;  what they can say; and you want everyone else to know it too!

But this can mean that you end up constantly testing your child’s abilities rather than teaching them new skills.

Ok so, Imagine this. At Sunday Lunch, out of the blue, your partner leans towards you expectantly and asks you to  ‘SAY APPLE’.  When you don’t answer, they ask again, ‘come on, SAY APPLE’ . You’re confused. There’s no apple around, there is no conceivable reason you can see for ‘saying apple’. It’s just come… completely… out of nowhere.

Now imagine this , you and your partner are in a sunny orchard,  surrounded by fruit trees, drinking delicious freshly pressed juice. Without anyone asking, you might comment on the apple trees, the apple juice the colour of the apples.

Context is so important for supporting speech and language learning. When we create a naturalistic context for communication and learning our children are much more likely to offer language spontaneously.

Rather than testing their language. Enrich the language environment with new experiences. If you want to get your child talking concentrate on these top tips

Swap questions for comments:

  • Swap ‘where’s the horse?’ to ‘There’s a horse!’  use it as a teaching opportunity ‘look its galloping and eating grass’
  • Talk about what’s going on around you, use a running commentary to teach new words
  • Don’t jump in, give him time to comment, Count to ten before making another comment. This gives him time to process what you have said and to formulate a response.
    • 10 seconds feels like forever  – but stick with it, it works
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