One of the common developmental problems that affect 10 percent of the preschoolers today is speech delay. This is a condition where the child is unable or having difficulties to form sound to make simple words that are easy for other children of his or her age.
To understand much better, here are some signs that your child may have speech delay:
- Having difficulties to say simple words such as mama and papa, either clear or unclear, at the age of 12-15 months old.
- Unable or having difficulties to understand simple words at the age of 18 months, such as “no”, “stop”, and “bye”.
- Unable or having difficulties to talk in short sentences at the age of 3.
- Unable or having difficulties to tell stories at the age of 4-5.
If you think your child may have speech delay, you should take your child to a medical practitioner or speech specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
However, if you think there are other ways to help your toddler with speech delay other than attending therapies, then you should try these following effective and healthy ways that you can do at home to help boost your child’s speech development.
#1: Understand speech delay
Before diving into home activities for improving speech development, you should first understand the core of speech delay.
Speech delay or alaila is a developmental delay or use of speech mechanism due to the following possible reasons:
- There is a problem with the child’s tongue, the roof of the mouth, and other parts of the mouth that hinders the child to speak.
- The child had an ear infection that had caused hearing loss.
- The child has a learning disability
- The child has a developmental disorder such as autism spectrum disorder and or cerebral palsy.
To provide effective and healthy activities to help boost speech development, you should find out or understand the underlying cause of speech delay; this why, health care or speech specialist’s intervention matters a lot.
#2: Speak your action that involves your child
It is important to make your child understand or distinguish your action through narration. For instance, when you are him or her a bath, you should narrate your action;
“We are now going to take a bath”; “What you are doing is taking a bath to clean off the dirt”.
#3: Practice while playing
Talking to a toddler seriously is a waste of energy; remember that toddlerhood is a playful stage. So, to help your child boost speech development, you have to practice simple words playfully. Through this, you are gaining your child’s attention to learn new words.
#4: Repeat the words
To help your child remember what he or she has learned it is advised to repeat the words over and over within the day and the following days until your child has recognized the word.
#5: Start to learn signs with your child
During therapies, your child will learn signs that will help them boost their speech development. If you want to help your child to learn and understand new words they have learned during therapies, extend the learning environment in your home through learning the signs too; this will help your child easily remember the words he or she has learned during a therapy session.