This post contains affiliate links which may put a few dollars in my pocket (blogs aren’t cheap now!) Don’t worry, all opinions are 100% my own.
Are you worried your child is a late talker? Are you wondering how to help your late talker develop? Here’s my real life story worrying about my son’s development and ways I’ve been able to make a difference.
Dominic is such an energetic and bright toddler. He’s able to mimic your actions quickly. Loves to laugh and goof around. The amount of comedic faces he makes each day continues to surprise me. While his motor skills and social skills are developing amazingly, he hasn’t said much “real words” which began to concern me.
Other parents bragging about their kids’ progress.
All in some way have been a constant reminder to the point of being a worry of mine that Dominic isn’t building a large vocabulary for his age. With everyone’s opinions bouncing around in my head, it became hard not to begin to second guess my son’s progress. Don’t get me wrong, I’m my son’s biggest advocate. But as time progressed, I began to wonder am I so confident in him that I could possibly be delaying help if he really needed it?
The worry and guessing got to me and eventually, I signed him up for a speech evaluation with a speech therapist. This way, an expert could way in without hearing everyone and their momma’s opinion.
As I 99.9% expected, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Dominic. The speech therapist basically confirmed, he will speak when he’s ready. Dominic is just so headstrong and independent that it makes it a bit more difficult. She also gave me a few pointers to aid in his development. For other moms in this situation without means to seek a speech therapist, I thought I’d provide a few ways I learned to help a late talker develop.
3 Ways To Help Your Late Talker Develop
PIN IT FOR LATER:
What Is Your Child’s Motivation?
When the speech therapist asked me this, I realized I never thought his development like this. Here’s how she broke it down for me.
Why do you go to work?
To make money. To pay your bills. To take care of your kids. The motivation for adults to be responsible are endless.
So what’s the reason your child should be motivated to learn to talk? The speech therapist recommended a reward system using either snacks or candy. When you reward your child for completing tasks, mimicking words, figuring out problems and more, your child will be more motivated to do more.
I decided on candy personally as I rarely ever give Dominic candy. This way the reward would be that more enticing to him. Plus, this mama was getting desperate haha. I know you guys can relate. Use a small clear food storage jar for your choice of reward. Take it out whenever you’re doing learning activities so your child will begin to associate your attempts at teaching with this reward. Trust me, it worked miracles!
Is your child a habitual TV watcher?
Okay, I’m all for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse entertaining Dominic while mama has her coffee. Heck, it basically was Dominic’s go-to while he was younger. He’d be quiet as a mouse as long as he got his shows. While TV makes life a WHOLE lot easier for us moms, it doesn’t encourage speech development.
According to the speech therapist, kids under about 3( don’t quote me for the age. Just remember, I am not a certified therapist) shouldn’t have more than 2 hours of TV per week. I won’t commit to only 2 hours. But, Dominic has definitely received a major cut in television time after speaking to the therapist. I can honestly say in less than a day it made a huge difference.
I cut the TV and took away his Amazon Kindle which he used for his learning videos. From this, he interacted with us more, used his learning toys more, and began to actually showcase more development skills. My days were wayyyy more time-consuming but it was working great. The speech therapist also mentioned that too much TV limits the amount of patience a child has as they’re used to receiving everything instantaneously.
So mamas, cut the TV!
Designate A Time & Place For Learning
During Dom’s early toddler years, I was guilty of trying to teach him something new whenever the mood or opportunity struck.
Driving past a farm? Oh Dominic, look at the cows! Cows say moo.
Had a free afternoon with no real work or chores around the house? Okay, Dominic. Let’s learn your ABCs.
The list goes on…..
You may want to give all of your free time to teaching your child. This may be even truer as a mom of a late talker. But, it’s better to take advantage of the ideal time to teach. You get more accomplished and your child will better understand and be receptive to “learning time”.
For toddlers, it’s best to have learning time in the morning. This is after breakfast. Once they’re fed and changed, learning time can begin. My son wakes up around 7 am. I’d do learning time around 930am before his nap time. This way he would be alert, ready to learn, and open to trying whatever task I came up with.
The speech therapist also recommended creating a “learning environment”. Something as simple as setting down a blanket each time you’re ready to teach your toddler can make a world of difference. We used this fleece blanket that we used as our couch’s decor. Each time your toddler sees the blanket, they will know what to expect and be prepared.
EXTRA TIP TO HELP YOUR LATE TALKER DEVELOP
Your child being able to access these tools all day whenever he/she wants limits the likeliness he/she will always participate during learning times. Plus, learning time would be like a treat to your toddler.
Always remember I am not a speech therapist. I’m just a mom trying to share my journey to help other moms dealing with the same struggles. I definitely recommend getting a speech evaluation to ensure your assessment of your child’s development is correct.
I’d love to hear from those moms who used these steps to help their late talker develop. Did it help you? Have you seen any progress? How long did you practice these steps? I’m still practicing these steps and I’d absolutely love to hear any and all feedback regarding these steps and your experiences helping a late talker develop.