A Mother's Role in Child With Speech Delay
Created by Krishnakali Basu Updated on May 18, 2019
Every parent is eager to hear his child’s first words and the baby babble turn into actual words. However, some children take longer(feeling speech delayed) than others to start actually talking. And that’s fine because the pace at which speech develops in individual children varies. Speech delay can be tackled with some simple games and techniques at home. A mother shares her experience on how she helped her child cope with the delay.
Read on to find out more about speech delays and what you can do to help your child.
Speech Delays & Speech Therapy - Tips to Tackle
Speech therapy is an intervention that focuses on improving a child’s speech and abilities to understand and express himself, through verbal and nonverbal language. Speech therapy includes:
- Coordinating the mouth to produce sounds to form words and sentences
- Understanding and expressing language. [Know: Some Tips to Expand Toddler's Language Skills]
Tips For Parents to Overcome Speech Delay
Here are some ways to Overcome Speech Delay in Children. As a mother of a child with speech delays, I would like to emphasize on how a parent can help in improving or developing speech in a child:
- A mother knows her child the best, the intuitive connection that they have can lead to miracles. An advantage that a mother has is the amount of time she spends with her children. So the whole day she can talk and talk and talk
- The key to helping a child is to make him/her play with you. This is the first step in helping the child how to communicate. Until a young child gains the desire and ability to connect with parents in mutually enjoyable experiences, his/her chances of learning to communicate remain slim
- Moms goal is to woo the child, to pull him/her in, to make him /her connect with you more than anything else. A child who is not sitting, but is roaming around, for that particular child, the mother has to change her approach. You can sing a little song, say a little rhyme and the child might stop in what he is doing to listen. The initial goal is to engage the child initially for a few minutes, but first and foremost make him sit down to look at you and then sit with you. If the child doesn’t listen or look at his mom, then the mom should keep on doing or talking to herself without paying attention to the child, till the child looks up or comes to her. Once the child has the mother's attention, she can pick up some object and keep on repeating what it is, holding it in her palm and getting the child to hold it as well and repeat
- Words to be used have to be short and simple and audible. Voice modulation is also important here to make the child connect with what the mom is saying
- The different games that I had played which worked with me was Give me five. Hold your hand up in front of the child and say give me 5! Involve others as well and keep repeating; peek-a-boo: I covered my head with a blanket and would say peek a boo and then uncover my head. repeat and repeat; I expanded the game into hiding and seek and say "Where is a mummy" or "Where is Papa" and I involved grandparents, domestic help, etc. as well. But play only as per the liking of the child, keeping in mind that the child doesn't get overwhelmed
- When I would open a bag in front of my child, I would say OPEN and when I zipped the bag up, I would say CLOSE, and kept on repeating and repeating and asked family members to do the same
- A child who has to be taught word by word, the only two things that are required are patience and repetition. I remember pre-planning before; I would start with something to not to lose patience. Suppose, I wanted him to know the word teddy then I would keep a toy teddy in front of me or a picture of a teddy, an engraving of a teddy in a cup or a souvenir of a teddy and take all the variations and went on repeating teddy. I have done this with most of the objects which, at that point in time, I felt is essential for him to know so that he has a list of vocabulary in his kitty. This requires patience
- If I picked up four words in a week, I would repeat them for a few days and after the child mastered the meaning I would add more words. When I taught him the word water, I would keep variations--for e.g.: water, bottled water, tap water, rain water, etc.
- Another game I played was a knock on the door. I had another member of the family to say who it is and gradually I enhanced it involved people and the child concerned too. But all the games I played with my child were first demonstrated to him, repeated and only after that he would take notice and get involved
- Once the child knows what is what, add on little sentences. For e.g.: If a child knows what an airplane is and what sky is, take a toy plane and ask him what flies in a sky, or with a toy bird that who flies in the sky and has wings
- Another herculean task was to make my child learn the word yes. I had to teach him the word literally after he learned to speak otherwise it was no no no. What I did was when it was his time to eat a snack I would bring in a biscuit and say "Mummy wants a biscuit", yes, mummy will have it!" and then ask him if he wanted the biscuit and then I would ask "yes?" I had to work on the word yes for months
- Another game that I played was matching: I would get a pair of glasses, bowls, anything that I could have my hands on and would put them side by side and say "same same" would get two identical toys and say "same same" and repeat. Then I moved on to matching object to picture and picture to object. I had taught matching the colors too. Before naming them, I would take two blue counters and ask him to match them, took two yellow counters and would ask him to put yellow on yellow and demonstrate without saying this is red or blue or green. I would take colored blocks and gems and demonstrate by putting a red gem on red block and wait for him to do the same
- Misunderstanding of pronouns is a huge red flag. A child while being taught pronouns should know genders. I would point at our pet and say "Gullu is a boy" and point at his sister and say "Pooja is a girl"
- Negation is another important aspect. It means understanding 'not' like this is 'not' papa this is an uncle. Books on opposites are easily used for this goal
- Toy trains have worked for me in order to teach first, middle and last concepts
- In order to teach numbers, I have used large number floor mats and alphabet mats and asked the child to hop to number six, then two, then to some other number, but before this I would make large cutouts of numbers and repeat them to my child and also pasted them with washable glue on my door
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| Sep 18, 2015
That's really helpful. Some of the tricks I do with my 15 months old baby and now he is pretty good with them like give the mobile to your papa,keep the bowl inside the cupboard etc. But I haven't taught my baby to say yes(non verbally) as he cannot speak clearly now. So, I will try your trick. Thanks for that
| Sep 19, 2015
Thanks for the helpful blog. My daughter too is having a delayed speech. She babbles too much but speaks little depending on her mood. We stay alone here without our family so she feels a bit sad for that. We take her to our friends homes and parks so that she can mix with people and talk but still it's very slow. She isn't much expressive. If she wants something and doesn't get it she cries for that instead of asking that particular thing. I am bit worried for that. She is getting cranky. Please help.
| Sep 30, 2015
Here is an experiential tip from a mommy who has been through this-please be patient-your child will speak, talk, read story books, take a walk in the park and show the child birds and trees by calling out the names, spend time and more time , if you have paucity for time then use the time that you have constructively and make the most of what you have, best to make a plan of objects/words to cover week by week.. most of all believe that your child will speak soon... leave anxiety outside t entrance to your home
| Jul 01, 2016
I am doing everything like this.. he can easily understand wot i am saying.. he is quickwitted.. but he is not trying to talk.. i mean he talk more than 50 words nd can say dad gone.. grandma gone.. dove gone.. rain falling.. mom come... but he is 2 years now... so i am concerned... he repeats everything spontaneously after watching my gestures nd knows how to call each one according to their age.. is he have speech delay??
| Nov 25, 2016
Hi I have been using certain developmental growth and monitoring apps to keep a check on my child growth. my had speech delay. I am using Kidnurture app . I started doing this when my developmental pediatrician suggested me to be proactive and use it. I have started sharing the pdf analysis report generated by the app. Tt has helped me address my concerns I suggest every parent to use such tools preferably kidnurture.
| Dec 18, 2017
hello all. last year we found that our kid had some speech issues when he was around 2. 5. then we involved ourself lot with him,he joined play school n lots of other things. now at this stage he started saying clearly mumma papa dadi n use to repeat everything what ever we say but not that clear. his receptive becomes so strong but expressive is not that ok. may b this is due to his speech delay. he is still not able to make the sentences. kindly advise what additional activities we can do with him for his betterment. we are so worried for him.
| Apr 30, 2018
Thank you Krishnakali. This is very useful information. I will definitely try this out. My daughter is 2. 3 yrs old, however she doesn't speak. She can understand everthing, but speaks very few words like Hi or Bye only as per her mood. So I am going to try this out. Thanks