Expressing the Importance of Speech and Language in Children

Speech and language therapists are offering some helpful hints to encourage children to talk and become confident communicators.

Ally Day, Speech and Language Therapist for Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust said: "It's never too early to start talking to your child. Talking, singing and reading with your child will help them to develop good language and communication."

Children learn by watching and listening to others around them. Here are some suggestions you may find helpful:

  • Keep it simple and talk about everyday things
  • Encourage your child to take turns with you - copy the sounds you make and give them time to respond
  • Don't anticipate their needs - they need lots of reasons to communicate with you
  • Accept their attempts to talk and show that you understand them
  • Use simple sentences for them to follow, for example: "We're going shopping - coat on."
  • Try to notice what your child is looking at. Point to and name the object for them. Repeat, repeat, repeat key words so they have lots of opportunities to hear them.

Ally added: "Attending groups is a great way to enhance your child's social skills and help them to become confident communicators. Pop along to your local children's centre for more information about the fantastic variety of groups and activities they offer.

"If you are concerned about your child's speech and language development, you can discuss this with a health visitor who can provide early advice. If your child attends nursery or school, you may find it useful to talk to the special educational needs coordinator about your child's speech and language. Ask if you are unsure who this is. You can find more information on our dedicated children's therapy website:"

There are more top tips for early talking available on the children's therapy website.