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Supporting Children's Communication

There are lots of things you can do to encourage children at this stage:

  • Talk about everyday activities like putting away the shopping. This helps children to connect language to the world around them.
  • Use objects and gestures to help them understand instructions and questions. It is also useful to give a child two or three options, such as, 'do you want teddy or the car?', 'is this your nose or your foot?'
  • Read books together. Looking at the pictures and describing them is just as good as actually reading the story. ’Lift-the-flap‘ books also help concentration.
  • Repeat and expand on what a child says. If a child says 'juice' you can say 'more juice', 'juice please' or 'juice gone'. This shows your child how words can be put together to make short sentences.
  • Children learn speech sounds gradually. It is better to say the whole word back to a child rather than correcting them. It also helps them if they can see your face when you are talking to them. This helps them to watch and copy the movements of your lips.
  • Children can be frustrated when adults don't understand them. This can lead to tantrums. Encouraging a child to use gestures or actions for objects can help. Try to be patient and wait for them to finish what they are saying or trying to show you.
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