How to Develop Strong Communication Skills in Your Child

How are your child’s listening and language skills? Speech-language disorders are common and often reversible. Do you know the signs of speech-language disorders in children? And did you know all children can become stronger readers by developing effective speech-language skills at an early age?

If you’re paying attention, the above questions should interest you, for our ability to communicate effectively, and vice versa, can influence the people, decisions, events, and the very direction of our lives. Therefore, helping our children build healthy speech-language skills as soon as possible — that includes detecting and correcting any impairments — will give them an early advantage both cognitively and socially.

Tuned in parent, and Speech Party founder, Keri Vandongen is a registered speech-language pathologist (SLP) and has been working with children and parents for 20 years. Below are signs Keri advises parents to look for in children who could benefit from a speech-language assessment.

10 Signs a Child May Need a Speech-Language Assessment

  1. Child’s speech is difficult to understand.
  2. Unlike his/her peers, child finds it difficult to imitate words familiar adults say.
  3. Child struggles with listening, hearing, attending, and/or focusing.
  4. Child has limited questions, responses, and comments with familiar adults compared to peers.
  5. Child does not demonstrate active and consistent engagement with kids his/her age.
  6. Child has noticeable sound errors in speech compared to peers.
  7. Child has a hard time following and comprehending instructions from familiar adults.
  8. Signs of stuttering present in child’s speech.
  9. Child is unable to express him- or herself well compared to peers.
  10. Child has noticeably nasal or hoarse voice that sounds unnatural compared to peers.

8 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Communication Skills

  1. Talk to your child! Read often to and play with him/her!
  2. Teach your child a second language.
  3. Verbalize what you are doing with your child and encourage the same from him/her.
  4. Arrange for your child to interact and engage with peers.
  5. Do not limit your vocabulary around your child.
  6. Teach your child to take turns listening and responding with you and others.
  7. Add length and structure to your sentences as your child grows. Encourage him/her to imitate.
  8. Explore speech-language exercises, games, and activities geared toward your child’s needs.

“Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.” ~Brian Tracy

References:
Speech Party
ASHA

About Elle C. Mayberry

Elle C. Mayberry is a mom and author, who just released a new children’s book with her young daughter. With a passion for parenting and degrees in psychology and “make it workology,” she created Tuned In Parents (TiP).

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