Love at first sound
This short article is intended to help you work with your little one at home so YOU can be your child’s best speech-language therapist. Language stimulation tricks can be a powerful tool to encourage your child’s speech language development to move forward. In today’s post, I’m going to share a very simple but highly effective trick with you. Use it and see for yourself!
In general, when experimenting with a new strategy, you may want to try it for a week or so to see if it works for you and your child. Some strategies will come more naturally than others and that’s okay. When you feel like you are able to use a particular strategy comfortably across all naturalistic contexts (e.g. meal time, bath time, play), incorporate it into a variety of social contexts. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun with it!
So, the strategy we are going to learn today is imitation. It’s super easy to implement and you may already be using it with your little one intuitively. This time, however, we aren’t concerned with the child imitating our actions, sounds, or words; instead, we, the caregivers are doing all the work. Sort of like reversing the roles: you become the child copying everything your caregiver does and says. Easy right? So yes, I want YOU to go ahead and try copying everything your kiddo is doing and saying- all the actions, sounds, even facial expressions, no matter how silly this ‘copy cat’ game seems. Research shows that children begin to produce speech more readily when caregivers spend more time mirroring and imitating their child. This is especially fun to do with your very young kiddos who may not be very verbal just yet. Playfully copying the child’s different actions (maybe shaking a toy, clapping hands, or stomping feet), sounds, or words, provided they are at the word level, could turn into a fun game and a real bonding experience. Furthermore, this simple game of ‘monkey see, monkey do’ also teaches a very important social skill of turn-taking, which eventually advances to a much more sophisticated level (conversational exchange).
Have fun playing and stay tuned for more tips!