This post I want to dedicate to kids’ speech development. It is a hot topic for me, because my first daughter was speech-delayed. She said her first word after her second birthday, she even didnt call me mama. She called me “Hey”.
Of course I worked with professionals and I started to do so as soon as me and our pediatrician had our first suspicions of the budding problem. I enrolled her in Early Intervention Services, went to see speech pathologist and all, but in this post I want to share what I tried to do at home to help her to start her talking.
I read to her. I read a lot and different books. I have good collection of children’s poems. Poems are especially good, and it is proven. The rhythmical speech calls for better vocabulary register and memorization. Also I noticed, that if I read simple poems to her, she becomes more interested and less distracted if I read just a book (kids book). The melodic speech flow fascinated her and she stayed focused longer.
I sang to her. I would repeat the same song literary hundreds times a day. And I was rewarded when she sang it back to me. Not using words though, but rhythm and intonation, and she was good enough so others could figure out what kind of song it was.
I played picture cards with her. I would go through magazines and newspapers, find simple pictures like: a picture of banana, milk, Christmas tree, toy or bed. Then I cut these pictures out and would glue them on cardboard for sturdiness and durability. I made lots of these cards and I organized them categorically, like food, furniture, cooking, clothes and so on. She loved these cards.
That’s how I used them: I take one card, lets say for the sake of example a lamp, then we will find this item in our room, then I take another card. If the same item cant be found nearby, that’s ok. After reviewing three cards, I would lay them out in front of her and ask her to show me a lamp, a chair or whatever is on these three cards. When I see that she remembers the words, characterizing these cards, I will take another three. Gradually I would increase the number of card to 4, 5 and more. She did not repeat names of the objects at first, however she knew how those objects were called.
As you can see they are all different shapes and sizes, which is another plus in keeping her interested longer.
She is 3.5 now but still she likes to play with them. For example when she plays with her dolls and it is time to feed them, she would use food and cookware cards.
These were my ways of trying to help her to start talking. She doesn’t speak perfectly now, but at one point she leaped forward and started trying and trying and trying and now she is able to converse, not as clearly as other kids of her age, but every day she makes another step in her progress.