What Will Help Your Child At Home?
As a parent you must be constantly wondering what you can do for your child other than taking him/her from one therapist to other. This page is about the things you can do at home with your child just as you are about to starting intensive intervention.
If your child has speech and language delay
When your child wants to communicate with you, s/he may not talk. Instead s/he cries or gets upset. At this point it becomes important to understand that you can make communication easier for your child, by beginning with the following simple ways:
- Talk slowly and clearly.
- Talk in short sentences
- Emphasize important single words that child should know e.g. water, pain, ball, mama
- When talking, make sure you are in front of your child. Seat your child on a chair or on your lap. That's the best way to ensure that s/he will try to look at you when you talk.
- Don't just ask what your child wants. Instead give choices by showing two or more objects while asking. Lay out the items (Eg: Rice and Roti) and let your child choose what s/he wants. When s/he makes a choice, say it for him/her ("I want rice"). Give him words; talk for your child.
- Show your child how to point towards the place or item wanted.
- Remember to talk for your child! Use words that your child may need to communicate e.g. 'break', 'stop/no', 'I want'.
- Do not get disheartened when there is no response. Keep talking to your child. Your child may be able to understand what is happening, but may not be able to tell you.
- Keep encouraging your child. Reduce any pressure to perform. Accept the child. Discourage yourself from insisting that s/he should 'say' something or 'talk'.
- Keep items of interest closer to your face while talking to your child. S/He may see your face more often that way!
If your child is not enjoying playing with other children, start to play simple games involving the child, youself and / or your spouse. Simple games to build skills at home:
- Peek-a-boo: Seat your child on your lap and play with this game using a dupatta
- Popping bubbles: This is super fun and engaging!
- Ring a ring a roses
- Sing rhymes with actions
- Read picture books with him: At times only flipping pages is engaging enough!
Changes at home
- Keep a schedule and routine for your child. The predictability of a day will help your child to remain calm and composed.
- Talk (for your child) as you are doing things for him / her. Eg: "Putting on blue shirt. Head in, arm in....Done! Look, a yellow star infront! Now, putting on shorts"....
- Involve your child in chores around the house, like sorting clothes or rinsing dishes etc. Your child will not only learn independent living skills but also will start to follow commands more regularly/ routinely.
- Be consistent with your rewards and punishments. For e.g.: If you promise your child TV time after lunch, ensure that is it given. Or if you've warned your child about 'No toy' if windows are climbed; remember to be firm and follow through with this. It is essential for your to keep your word, even if you think your child is not completely following you. Over time your child will understand how there are consequence for his/ her actions. Inconsistent rewards and punishments will send mixed message to the child.