ABC Pediatric Therapy Partners | Athens, Georgia
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What should my child be able to do?
Suggestions to increase expressive language skills from the Speech-Language Pathologists at ABC Pediatric Therapy Partners:
  1. Verbalize many reduplicated syllables ("ma-ma," "da-da" or "ba-ba" for bottle or baby, etc.).
  2. Verbalize animal sounds or environmental sounds (car noises, horn, sirens, etc.).
  3. If you talk about specific moveable objects (such as a toy car or cookie), hold it up next to your mouth to get your child to pay close attention to your mouth, lip and tongue movements.
  4. Play "tongue" games (sticking out your tongue, wagging it side to side, clicking tongue, etc.).
  5. Play "mirror" games with lip and tongue movements. Attempt to make new vowel sounds during this time.
  6. Sing repetitive songs (such as "This is the Way We Wash Our Face," "Wheels on the Bus," "Old McDonald," "Itsy Bitsy Spider," "Pat-a-Cake") and use the gestures while singing.
  7. Connect a sound to an action ("sh" with a finger over lips for quiet, "s" for snake sound, "b" for band, "p" for popping bubbles, etc.)
  8. Try to have your child try to produce some type of vocalizations when requesting something (i.e., if he reaches for a bottle, have him say "ba" or "ah").
  9. Verbalize and describe your activities as you are performing them. Describe exactly what steps you go through when washing dishes, cooking, dressing your child, etc.
  10. Bombard your child with specific sounds at certain times ("b" at bathtime—play in the bathtub with Barney, Baby Bop, bubbles, babydoll, ball, or any other "b" objects you may have to play with at bathtime—or "m" at mealtime such as meat, more, mmm good, etc.).

How well does my child hear and talk?
The earlier a child's speech and language problems are identified and treated, the less likely they will persist or get worse. These milestone charts from the ASHA describe skills by age, on average. Just because your child has not accomplished one skill within an age range does not mean the child has a disorder. However, if you answer no to most items in an age range, you should see a speech-language pathologist or audiologist.