Speech Therapy for Toddlers – It’s been more than two years, but your little one still doesn’t speak fluently? Well, if you’re like this, it’s worrying, especially when you see that toddlers their age are already good at singing and talking.
As parents, it’s natural for us to wonder, what’s wrong with my toddler? Could the toddler have a speech delay? Talking late to toddlers is a natural thing or not?
Facing a toddler suspected of having speech delay, you can handle it at home. Parents are the best teachers for their children. If your toddler has a speech disorder such as speech delay, there are some simple speech therapy ideas that you can do at home.
According to Sarah Bradley in Very Well Family, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), most toddlers start talking between 1 and 2. By two years, most toddlers can say essential words like “Mama, bye, and eat” and often compose words into two-questions and word sentences.
If your toddler seems abnormal in speech, it may not be a sign of a speech or language delay, but it may not have started to engage in conversation with those around him. At this stage, you can start practising talking to your toddler at home.
“Home talk therapy can be especially helpful for toddlers who don’t get frustrated easily and who have only mild delays or articulation errors,” says Massachusetts-based toddler speech therapist Alyssa Gusenoff.
However, more severe problems, such as speech regression, should be referred to a licensed speech therapist. Elaine Luo, a board-certified internal medicine doctor, explains speech therapy treats speech problems and disorders. By speech-language pathologists (SLP).
“Speech therapy techniques are used to improve communication. These include articulation therapy, language intervention activities, and others depending on the type of speech or language disorder,” Luo said.
Who may need speech therapy for speech disorders that develop in childhood, such as speech delay or speech disorders in adults caused by injury or disease, such as a stroke or brain injury?
Luo said speech therapy for toddlers could be done in a classroom or small group, or one-on-one, depending on the speech disorder. Speech therapy exercises and activities vary depending on the toddler’s impairment, age, and needs.
During speech therapy for toddlers, Luo said, SLP can interact through talking and play and use books pictures of other objects as part of a language intervention to help stimulate language development.
SLP can also imitate correct sounds and syllables for toddlers during age-appropriate play to teach toddlers how to make certain sounds. As providing strategies and homework for toddlers and parents or caregivers on how to do speech therapy at home.
Speech Therapy for Toddlers
Well, if your little one at home is not fluent in speaking, let’s look at some speech therapy ideas for who can do it at home.
1. Don’t have a television in the background
Noise can make it difficult for children to pick up new vocabulary. Contrary to what many people think, the loud sound of the TV does not promote a child’s development. According to JAMA Pediatrics, “children who watch television a lot … will delay the development of meaningful speech.”
In one study, American children aged between 6 and 12 months were exposed to real people who spoke Mandarin live and in videos. Babies who interact with real people recognize and respond to specific phonemes, and those exposed to video do not.
That indicates that human interaction is vital in the complex language development process. Expert Michael Rich, MD, MPH, director of the Center for Media and Child Health at Boston Children’s Hospital, says that parents are less likely to talk to their children when the TV is on. He remembers that babies learn languages from living people, especially their parents! Having a TV can ruin that process.
2. Teach sign language
Some studies show a correlation between language and speech. If nothing else, it stopped the considerable frustration the kids felt.
3. Make a printable magnet for the fridge
Add magnets in the shape of her favourite items (juice, cereal, glasses, toys), and when she wants something, she can give it to Mom. That can prevent children from getting frustrated with speech delays.
How to make it:
using big data magnet paper. Then glue a piece of white cardstock on top, and it becomes a square. Then draw on it with things the child might need: a cup, food, a bed, a favourite toy, and so on.
4. Spend 40 Minutes just playing with children
Use the simple words “Fast car!” or “Red Ball.” To see all the benefits of playing.
5. Working with flashcards
Touch & feel flashcard sets are preferred because children are not just auditory or visual learners. Say the object name & ask the child to repeat it.
6. Use Cotton Ball & Straw
Place the cotton ball on the table or the floor. Now, take a straw & let the child blow on it to make the cotton ball move (put the cotton ball on the table). That will help the mouth muscles needed for speech.
7. Drink with a straw, but not just liquids
Use a straw for drinking various textures such as water, milk, applesauce, fruit pulp, milkshakes. That will help strengthen the muscles in their mouth, making speech easier when they are ready.
8. Use cute-shaped straws for drinking.
Mothers can use curly/wavy straws to trigger children to jabber. That is great because children need more muscle strength and work than regular straws.
9. Put some objects out of reach.
You can do this with objects your child wants, such as his favourite book or toy. That makes the child have to ask for help from the mother.
Show children how to ask for help and say “please” when they ask for help. It would be best if you modelled this behaviour for him. Children are more likely to talk when they want something.
10. Praise the effort
Praising children has a massive effect on their success, increasing self-esteem and self-confidence.
11. Minimize Pacifier Usage
If your toddler or preschooler is still using a pacifier, it will be challenging to break the habit. Still, it is also tough to talk with the pacifier in his mouth, so continuing to use it while talking can disrupt the process.
Most children learn best when things repeat over and over again. It also happens often in speech. When the child pronounces a word correctly, repeat the word in a positive tone. If the child makes an articulation error, repeat it to hear what they said versus what they thought.
Some children may not realize they made a mistake until mom or dad repeats it!
Hopefully, the 12 simple speech therapy methods above can help overcome your toddler’s speech delay with our explanation.