Today’s speech game is an understanding activity. Children usually develop understanding faster than speech. By developing J’s understanding skills I am giving him the tools for communicating. If J continues to be on-verbal than this will be in the form of sentence strips using his pecs. Either way, J needs to understand language in order to use it.
J already has a one key word understanding e.g. He can get the ball from his toy box or shoes when asked. So we are focusing on 2 key words. Today this was a two key word instruction using pretend play.
-One baby and one Oopsy Daisy.
-a bottle and a bowl and spoon.
-a wet wipe and a hair brush.
I laid them all out away from distractions of sound, light and other toys. I would then ask J to completed an action on a particular character. The two key words are ‘the item’ and ‘the character’. Occasionally I added a third key word just to challenge him (and for me to see how far his understanding has reached) such as ‘the item’, ‘the character’ and a ‘positional language’ (e.g.: wash Oopsy Daisy’s hand).
J did well. There were times when he was more focused on the item so I had repeat the instruction or get his attention refocused. Here are some things that work for us:
- Say your child’s name before instruction
- Minimise the language to just the needed words
- Ask child to look at you (if they can)
- Hold their hand or make physical contact e.g. Stroke their cheek
- Get rid of distractions e.g.: turn tv off, shut curtains.
- J is only 2 so I don’t expect him to stay too long. We did about 5 instructions in total with J following 4 of them correctly. J ‘told me’ he was done but using the Makaton for finished and going off behind the coffee table (he goes to find a ‘hiding place’ when he’s had enough interaction).
There are other activities we use such a small world play (asking J to put an animal in a particular place from a small selection), asking him to give me two items from his shopping trolley, using books (where’s the blue butterfly…works well in counting books as there’s often more than one of the same item but they can look slightly different), use colouring items (give me the red crayon-do they give you the crayon or pencil? Is it the right colour).
During the activity J did start to become verbal by Mimicking ‘num nun’ when feeding the toys. He also used the word “baby” at one point which is a word he started using a couple of months ago and then stopped again completely.
J is now back to playing with his emergency vehicles so I’m off to cook dinner 😀
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Edit: for some reason WordPress won’t upload my video so I will try and post it on our Facebook page instead after dinner x
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Thanks I’m going to try this with my little one x
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That’s great. Let me know how you get on 🙂 x