Some schools and parents have asked us to suggest some useful resources, we can’t recommend resources for specific children, but this information may be useful.
- CBeebies - link with lots of great points and with user friendly language for parents.
- Hungry Little Minds - a general resource with different activities and games to play with your child (just click on your child's age). This website also gives details of some Apps that you may want to try with your child too
- Tiny Happy People - some lovely activities (just click on your child's age) and great short videos and articles with helpful tips and advice to support your child's communication
- Ages and Stages - some helpful resources if parents are wondering what their child should be doing or whether they should refer their child to SLT
- Progress checker – useful if parents are unsure if their child’s communication is age appropriate, they can use the progress checker to see if they should seek advice from an SLT
- General resources on i-can website for parents
- General resources on Communication Trust website for parents
- Common features of Speech Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)
- Speech and language therapy assessments – some answers to questions parents may have
- There are some general leaflets (pdfs) from the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapistswhich may be useful:
- More free parent resources from Afasic
General Advice for Parents
Supporting children with their spoken language (expression)
- Repeat: Repetition of words is really important. Children need to hear new words lots of times before they understand the word and begin to use it.
- Add a word or two: Model words and sentences to your child. If your child says a word/short phrase, model the phrase back and add an additional word, e.g. if your child says 'car', reply with 'yes, a red car' OR 'a fast car' etc.
- Modelling correct language: If your child makes a grammatical error, repeat back the phrase with correct grammatical structure, e.g. ‘she breaked her glasses’ Adult: Yes, she has broken her glasses’.
- Naming things and learning words: Try using a variation of types of words. For example, children need a good vocabulary of doing words (verbs) - like running, smelling, eating, drinking etc, describing words (adjectives) - like big, yellow, heavy, smelly and words that can be used to name things (nouns) - like dog, chocolate, TV
- Commenting: Talk to your child during your everyday routine – talk about what you are doing as you are doing it, e.g. meal times, shopping, bath time, bed time. Comment on your child’s play and what your child is interested in using clear, single words e.g. ‘car’ ‘bubbles’ ‘train’.
- Offer choices: You can do this throughout daily routines e.g. snack time etc. E.g. Rather than asking ‘What would you like to eat?’ you can try and ask 'Do you want an apple or banana?' This will help your child practise using language and link a word with an object. If they cannot say the word, say it for them and model.
- Books and nursery rhymes: Use books, stories and nursery rhymes to help your child learn new words. Books and nursery rhymes use the same repetitive language. This makes learning new words and ideas easier for your child. You don’t just have to read the words of the books, you can talk about the pictures, use different voices and facial expression and stress the key words.
Supporting children with their understanding (comprehension)
- Break down instructions. Keep instructions short and break down instructions into ‘manageable ‘chunks of information. Keep language short and simple.
- Demonstrate. This can help by providing children with a visual sequence of actions that they have to copy in order to complete the task.
- Give time to respond. You may need to repeat some instructions and explanations, leaving pauses to give your child thinking time.
- Face-to-face. Where possible, get face to face and use your child’s name to gain their attention before you talk or give an instruction.
- Offer a choice: You can do this throughout daily routines e.g. snack time etc. E.g. Rather than asking ‘What would you like to eat?’ you can try and ask: 'Do you want an apple or banana?'
- Visuals. Use visuals as often as you can to support your instructions/conversation, for example, use objects, picture symbols, gestures or signing such as Makaton and facial expressions.
- Keep background noise to a minimum. This will help your child listen to what you are saying and focus.
Supporting children with unclear speech
- Be face to face – make sure you can see each other’s faces when you talk. This will make sure you can both get lots of clues about what is being said from lip movements, eyes and facial expressions.
- Offer a choice: If it is difficult to understand your child, offering a choice can help reduce frustration. You can do this throughout daily routines e.g. snack time etc. E.g. Rather than asking ‘What would you like to eat?’ you can try and ask 'Do you want an apple or banana?'
- Repeat the word back clearly: This will help your child hear how the word should sound. Emphasise the sounds your child could not say. By repeating what your child says, it also shows them you have understood what they have said.
- Don’t correct: When your child produces an incorrect sound, don’t correct but model back the correct word, e.g. Child: ‘Look a pish’ Adult: ‘Oh yes, it’s a fish’. You can emphasise the sound your child could not say. Do not ask your child to repeat words.
- Keep background noise to a minimum – this will help you and your child hear each other clearly.
- Ask your child to show you: If your child is becoming frustrated, ask your child to point to the object they want or to take you to the object.
- Translation List: Have a list of words for unfamiliar adults to use, such as, a list of words for pets, family members, favourite toys that can be given to family or teachers. This is especially useful if your child’s teacher is struggling to understand or if your child is becoming frustrated.