Top 10 Tips to Improve Speech & Communication Skills

Top 10 Tips to Improve Speech & Communication Skills

Top 10 Tips to Improve Speech & Communication Skills at home

Speech therapy doesn’t stop when your child comes home. Speech therapy should be an ongoing, continuous practice and that includes inside the home. By continuing what your child is learning in speech therapy at home on a daily basis, you will not only see faster results, but it will also make your child more confident in what he is learning and accomplishing.
First step to improving communication skills at home is to talk—a lot!

Step 1: Wait Time
Most of us don’t even wait for people to finish a sentence before chiming in. A good rule of thumb is to give your child 5-10 seconds to answer your question. This will give him enough time to process what he wants to say and can prevent or diminish stuttering in some children.

Step 2: Don’t Over Correct
Over correcting too much is the exact opposite way of how to improve communication skills. The more your demand that your child say something right, the worse it may likely get. You don’t want to make talking and saying speech sounds a negative thing, because they just might stop doing it altogether.

Step 3: Practice good social communication skills
This involves taking turns, using eye contact, and valuing what they have to say.

Step 4: Be a good role model
If you want to build strong speech and language skills in your child, you need to show that you have those skills yourself. Talk slightly above your child’s level to engage his learning.

Step 5: Turn off the TV
Try to have the TV off as much as possible. This helps children to expand their imagination, learn to entertain themselves, and strengthen their communication skills.

Step 6: Read, Read, Read!
Read everything that you can—not just books. The more exposure your child has to reading the more speech sounds and language structure they will soon understand.

Step 7: Ask open ended questions
These questions will teach your child how to think hard and reason for themselves.

Step 8: Repeat words often
When children are young they need to hear a word in a repetitive fashion before they will even start trying to say it. Repetition is the key to learning.

Step 9: Draw conclusions and explain consequences
This will take practice and patience but the earlier that you teach your children this concept the better. When something happens or they do something wrong, help them to understand why.

Step 10: Praise your child for talking
Tell them a few times throughout the day that they are a good talker and compliment them when they use a new vocabulary word.

I hope that these tips will give you a better idea on how to improve your child’s speech and communication skills at home. If you suspect that your child needs speech therapy, talk to your pediatrician or seek the advice of a graduate speech & language therapist.

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