Does my child need speech therapy? | North Houston Moms

It’s Speech, Language and Hearing Month and as parents we tend to worry about development and milestones. It’s hard not to compare children, especially siblings – but it’s important to remember every child is different and has different needs.

We chatted with Alicia Carter, Speech Language Pathologist and Owner of Unique Therapy, to get insight on some speech and language norms, and a checklist of strategies to help your child communicate.

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Here’s a helpful checklist of strategies to help your child communicate:

Model, Model, Model!
This includes self talk which may sound like you are talking out loud.
“We are going for a walk”, “I am hungry! I want a banana”, “I want the car”

Give 2 Choices
This reduces frustration and allows the child to communicate more effectively.
“Do you want milk or juice?”, “Do you want to swing or play ball?”

Model Parallel Talk
Modeling what the child is doing, thinking or feeling 1-2 words more than what they are saying. 
“You want to play ball:, “The blue car is fast”, “We love to swing”, “You found Mr. Potato Head”

Reduce Questions
Instead, work on building vocabulary by pointing and labeling. If you do ask questions, give an answer immediately. 
“Where’s the cow? There’s a cow!” (pointing to a picture or 

Fill In the Blank
Start a sentence and allow wait time (1-3 seconds while waiting and looking expectantly at your child) and allow the child to fill in the answer.
“The cow says…moo” “Five little monkeys jumping in the…bed”

Play and Play Out Loud
This means getting on their level. Be a play partner, not an observer and engage in play. Narrate what is happening, model self talk and parallel talk.

• Read Books and Limit Screen Time
Read repetitive books, so they become familiar with the words, phrases and storyline. This will increase receptive vocabulary, sentence structure, and confidence. Encourage them to comment on pictures.

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