Making Conversation

Prepare an environment with detailed language

  • You and all the other adults in your child's world make up his language environment. Make sure that you and every one who is involved in his life is aware how important it is to use detailed expressive language all the time.
  • Make sure everyone who he spends time with understands the value of responding to his efforts to say words and communicate at this time. He is trying hard and when this is acknowledged he will be encouraged to keep trying but if no one notices he may feel that his efforts are futile and stop trying.

Connect your child to detailed language through his everyday experiences

  • Every item you use to bathe, clean, prepare meals, dress, and maintain the life of the family is a word your child is learning. By naming objects you are also explaining their function. For example, there are baby spoons, soup spoons, serving spoons, measuring spoons and tea spoons. Make sure you use these kind of words rather than calling everything a spoon. Don't worry that these words might be too complex for your child. These detailed words will make sense to him when used in the context of his daily life and will enrich his language.
  • Use correct grammar and full sentences whenever possible. Use speech that will give your child a good model to express himself clearly so that everyone can understand him.

Make time for conversation

  • You will need to wait patiently for conversation to emerge. The words that your child understands will always be greater than the words he uses. You can tell him to go and find his shoes and he will scoot across the room to find them long before he can hold them up in the air and say: ‘Mummy I found my shoes’. You will have to be patient enough to have one-sided conversations at first and to interpret what it is he is trying to say to you.