When your child is young, and having a hard time being understood by you and others, it can be so frustrating—for both you and your kiddo! However, there are ways you can help improve your child’s articulation and reduce frustrations with communication breakdowns.
1. Get down on the floor with them in play
Not only will this facilitate trust and bonding, this allows your child a better look at your face and mouth when you’re talking.
2. Talk…With Energy!
This will draw your child’s attention to your face and they will be more engaged with you.
3. Model target sounds your SLP is working on with your child
If your child is working on /b/ sounds, you can model the sound while the airplane flies through the sky (“boo, boo, boo”), while you make the tiger walk (“ba, ba, ba”), or while you’re putting the new dress on the doll (“bee, bee, bee”).
4. Draw your child’s attention to your face
If you have a toy they want, hold it near your face while you model the word (with energy!). Or if your child wants you to do an action with the toys, hold them up near your face while you narrate your play or specific target words.
5. Praise communication attempts
If your child says something that doesn’t quite sound like the target, praise their attempt for trying and model the correct production. For example, if they point to the puppy and pronounce something not quite right, you can say, “Good job! That is a puppy! Nice puppy!” (Bonus points if you hold it by your face while you model it!).
These are just a few tips for making articulation and communication easier for those littles that are hard to understand. Keep working with your SLP to learn about specific strategies that are helpful for your child!