Speech development is something that often has parents worrying.
“Is he saying enough words?” “Can anybody else understand her?” “Why aren’t they speaking?”
Do these questions sound familiar to you?
My son Jack was a really late talker (didn’t really say much until he was well over 3 and a half), and I remember agonising over it on many a sleepless night (as us Mums do!).
I didn’t need to worry though, as when he started Pre School it all just started to slot in to place, he was saying more words, and even making sentences!
All children develop differently, at different rates and focus on different things at different times. Jack was a really physical boy, pretty much from birth, and would never sit still, wanted to be moved around and bounced!
Children can not do more than one thing at a time, and more often than not, boys are later talkers. Girls are often more hesitant to climb trees and run around, and, as a result, they are normally chatting away much earlier!
There are many things you can do to help your child with Speech:-
👍 Talk to them, all of the time! When you are out walking say things like “Look, there is a red bus” or “I can see a black dog!”
👍Don’t give them what they want straight away, let them work for it a little bit. Give them 2 options, such as “cup” or “snack” and let them try to tell you.
👍Read stories with them, especially ones with repeated refrains, such as the 3 Little Pigs.... “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down” 😃 The more times you read it, the more likely your child will try to join in.
👍Praise them for everything they say, even if it doesn’t sound quite right, if they say “Mummy ar” a d point to your car, say “Yes, well done it is Mummy’s car”, so they can hear it being said correctly, and feel encouraged to say it again.
👍 Give then time to speak. ask them a question and then give them time to answer it.
If you are really worried about your child’s speech, have a chat with your Health Visitor, as they will be able to refer your child to a Speech and Language Therapist. Normally a referral isn’t done until the child is 2 and a half or over.