Helping your child communicate with Language Stimulation Strategies

Helping your child communicate with Language Stimulation Strategies

Language stimulation strategies can be incredibly helpful when it comes to helping your child communicate. As the name suggests, these are strategies adults can use to stimulate a child’s language, which allows their language and communication to grow.

You can use these strategies in play activities with your child and throughout the day. Here are a few of our favourite language stimulation strategies for helping your child communicate:

Self Talk

Talk about whatever you are doing.

E.g. “I am drinking”, “feels hot”, “Time to drink”. Remember to use 1-2 words more than what your child is using.

Parallel Talk

Talk about whatever the child is doing.

E.g. “you are pouring water”,  “putting in cup”.

Imitating

We repeat what the child says (including babbling sounds and words).

Expansion (Build on)

We repeat what the child says but we add to is so it forms a grammatically correct sentence and includes some more information.

E.g: Child: Car red. Adult: The car is red.

Build up and break down

Repeat what your child says but, expand on it, then break it down into several other phrases.

E.g: Child: Doggy house.Adult: Yes, the doggy is in the house. The house. The doggy is in. He is in the house. Doggy house.

Recasting

Repeat what the child has said but say it in a different, more complex way.

E.g: Child: Doggy house. Adult: Is the doggy in the house? The doggy is not inside the house. The doggy is inside the house isn’t he!

Focused stimulation

We choose 1-3 target or ‘focus’ words and use them repeatedly in a number of ways throughout play activities. We set up an activity that will elicit the target words.

E.g: Target words ‘in’, ‘more’ in a water play activity:

o   ‘More’: We can say this each time the child wants another toy piece, wants more pouring water or more splashing.

o   ‘In’: We can say this each time the child wants to put a toy piece in the water, in another container or toy, in their hand or when they want to put their hand in the water etc.

While language stimulation strategies are useful for helping your child to communicate, it’s important to remember that each child is unique and will respond differently to different techniques. For questions specific to your child’s language and communication development, contact your speech and language pathologist or the friendly team at the Lizard Centre.

Author: Johanna Sciancalepore (CPSP., MSLP., BSHS.) 2018.