Getting Your Child To Talk

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by Patrice on December 31, 2010 · 1 comment

in Development


Infants and toddlers start communicating with words and once they start their capacity for learning new words grows very quickly up until about the age of five. The exact age at which the child starts exhibiting language development differs from child to child, so it’s not fair to make comparisons as to what exact age the child says his first word.

If your young child seems to be developing language skills at a much slower rate than most children, there could be a perfectly good reason and steps can be taken to address the developmental delay.

Sometimes a young child learns that there is just no need to speak. A big brother or sister may be trying to help the baby out by interrupting him and interpreting his needs, making it unnecessary for the child to try to communicate his needs to you.

A child may have shown strength in an area besides language development that the family is more focused on developing at the cost of stimulating language skills.

Some children lack the social contact with people that they need to develop language skills at a normal rate.

If you are concerned that your child lags behind most other children in learning to communicate verbally and that it may indicate a developmental delay, speak with your pediatrician to rule out any physical disorder that could be causing it. In the meantime, encourage the child to expand his language skills by talking with them as much as you can.

Reading and singing to the child exposes them to new words to use to express themselves as much as one on one conversation. Give the child time to respond. When reading or speaking, use words normally but speak slowly.

Use short sentences with your child as you find conversation topics in activities and the surrounding environment. Ask simple questions of your child, encouraging him to respond. Start with simple questions that can be answered with a yes or a no, but encourage the child to speak the answer, not just nod his head.

About Patrice

Patrice Campbell is a freelance writer working from the Denver area. Campbell started her writing career in the 1980’s, working for several Wisconsin local papers as a news, human interest and features writer, as well as a photographer.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Angie January 2, 2011 at 12:10 pm

I find that reading to my child really helps. And doing fingerplays and nursery rhymes are a great way to help too. I also make my child use yes and no instead of or in addition to nodding their heads. I feel that communication is very important and all should be done to help the child as much as possible.


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