Children usually develop most of their communication skills by the age of five. However, some kids tend to face difficulties while learning these skills. For instance, they may find it hard to pronounce certain sounds or be unable to speak or understand properly. While a kid would take at least 12 years to develop his/her communication skills fully, it is necessary for parents to have an eye out for potential issues and deal with them in the best possible manner. Accordingly, here are some tips that can be of some help.
Identify the Problem Areas
Find out exactly which areas your child is having difficulties. Make a checklist of basic communication skills your child should know by the age of two (for example, roll the ball or sit down) and check the same by crossing off those areas that he/she is able to comprehend. This would pinpoint the areas wherein he/she is falling behind.
A child learns most of his/her communication skills via listening to his/her parents. So make it a practice to talk to your child regularly throughout the day even if he/she is too young or does not reply. Use these talk times to introduce new words or phrases that he/she should know in addition to reminding him/her of the things he/she learnt earlier.
Children with communication problems tend to find it harder to grasp words. So speak slowly to them (not in terms of sound but in terms of speed). Speaking slowly would enable your kid to process the information that you just told him/her. Make it a point to give slightly bigger pauses after each sentence so that he/she gets ready to follow you with the next one instead of falling behind.
Use a picture storybook to make your child understand certain words and relate them to the pictures shown in the book. For example, you can show the picture of a house in the book and read it aloud so that your child will relate it in the same world.
Accept Mistakes and Correct Gently
Instead of reprimanding your child to speak correctly every time he/she makes a mistake, encourage him/her to correct his/her words slowly. For example, if your child utters ‘I felling down’, say ‘Yes, you fell down’. After acknowledging what he/she is trying to tell you, correct his/her sentence, adding one or two words for him/her to grasp. In the above-mentioned example, you can say, “I fell down”.