The aim of the speech therapy is “to encourage a child to learn to communicate”. This process needs to be both engaging and interesting for effective learning.
Use a lot of bed time rhymes
The rhythm, pitch and intonation patterns (called Suprasegmentals) are first to develop in a child. They develop as early as eighth months of pregnancy. It is essential to learn the rhythm of speech to make it sound more natural.
Using rhymes help your child learn such patterns. Sing a few rhymes repeatedly during the day. After few days encourage your baby to clap, tap or make some body movements along with you. If baby tries to vocalize or sing along with you applaud the effort.
Create an urge to communicate
A child communicates to fulfill his/her needs. A favorite toy can be placed on a higher shelf which is visible to your child but unreachable. When your child expresses the need to play with the toy, rather than handing it over, name the toy and encourage them to use words like “give me”, “please” etc.
Hidden objects game
Hide an object your child is mostly likely to play with. For example when your child is drawing or coloring, you could hide a few pencils or crayons. Once your child looks for and then asks for the missing items, communication can be initiated.
Hiding objects can enhance communication as children become overtly curious and pay greater attention to active messaging at that point. Ensure that this is done in a playful manner to not upset your child.
Incorporate self –corrections through modelling
Have a conversation with deliberate errors. Immediately verbalize the mistakes and paraphrase the sentence correctly. For example, while eating an apple say, ‘I am eating a banana’ and immediately correct yourself “no…no sorry it’s an apple, not a banana”
Start with simple errors (like wrong object, name etc.) and later move to more nuanced errors like sentence formation, tense etc.
For all the suggestions given, practice and consistency is of utmost importance. Keep doing the same things with a new twist and you are bound to see results.
Play with purpose !!