Q: My child will soon be 2 years old and she does not say as many words as other children at her age. How do I get her to say more words?
A: There are many ways to support a child’s language development. Here are my best tips for children in the beginning of their language development:
- When you talk about something, try to make eye contact with your child so they can see how you say different words. You can do this, for example, by holding up toys that interest your child at your mouth as you speak. Then most children usually look up and you get eye contact.
- Repeat words many times. For example, if your child makes a sound for a cat, you can say, “Right there is a cat, it’s the cat, a nice cat”, with the emphasis on cat.
- Using sign language to enhance the spoken language has been shown to stimulate language development. Here is a video that show you how.
- Choose books based on what your child is interested in right now. Be sure not to choose too difficult books but choose books that fit your child’s language level. If the child feels generally uninterested in books, you can try books that contain things you can feel or try interactive books on the iPad.
If you are worried I recommend that you contact a speech and language pathologist where you live for a consultation.
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