• Strategies for Increasing your Child’s Speech and Language Skills





    Using the language you want your child to use

    -Your child puts their arms up and grunts. They want to be picked up. Before you pick them up, you say, “Up” or “Up please” or “I want up please”. Your child does not have to say these words before you pick them up; they just have to hear them.


    Using words, gestures, etc to praise your child for their efforts to communicate, even if they are only approximations of a word

    - Your child wants milk, so they say, ‘’mmmm”. Praise them and require that they use this approximation each time they want milk.


    Talking about what you are doing, seeing, or hearing in short sentences

    -“I am cooking”

    -“I feel sad”

    -“I see you.”

    Parallel talk

    Talking about what your child is doing, seeing or hearing in short sentences

    -“You are playing.”

    -“You are building a tall tower.”

    -“You want mommy.”


    Repeating what your child says, but adding in missing words or grammar without directly correcting them

    -Your child says, “Me want help.” You say, “I want help” emphasizing the ‘I’ word.


    Repeating what your child says, but adding information

    -Your child says, “Want block.” You say, “Yes, you want the RED block.”



    Repeating what your child said incorrectly, in the correct way (especially useful for articulation)

    -Your child says ‘wabbit’ for ‘rabbit’. You say ‘Rabbit’ back to them, emphasizing the /r/ part of the word.

    Make comments

    Talking about what has happened or will happen

    -“I was sad today.”

    -“I can’t wait to go on vacation tomorrow.”

    Ask open-ended questions

    Asking questions that require more than one-word answers

    -“What do you think about….?”

    -“What do you think will happen?”

    -“Why do we….?”

    Use ‘I wonder’ statements

    Making statements instead of asking your child too many questions, but still encouraging language

    -“I wonder what color the train is.”

    -“I wonder what we should do today.”


    Asking your child to reflect on what they have said (especially useful for articulation)

    -Your child says, “tar” for “car”. Ask, did you mean, “tar” or “car” emphasizing the /k/ sound in “car”.

    -Your child says, “Her wants it”. Ask, “Her wants it or She wants it?” emphasizing “she”.

    Drill practice

    Having your child practice saying correct sounds or sentences (especially useful for articulation)

    -Your child is learning to use the /l/ sound. Begin by having them say words with /l/ in one position of the word (beginning, middle, end). Work up to sentences, reading, and conversation. Also talk about where your tongue, teeth, and/or lips are for that sound.

    -Your child is working on using –ing verbs. Look at pictures and have them say, “He is running. He is cooking. She is sleeping.”


    Using pictures, hand prompts, etc while speaking to emphasize certain words or parts of words

    -Your child has difficulty saying the /k/ sound. Use a visual cue (hand back indicating that you make this sound in the back of your throat…or you can make up your own cue) while saying words with the sound.

    -Your child has difficulty learning and/or retaining vocabulary. Use pictures, read books, watch videos that have this vocabulary in them.