What Does Speech Therapy for A Toddler Involve?


Similar to the variation in age when toddlers learn to walk, the age when toddlers learn to speak also varies. While a few children begin to speak even before they turn one, others barely learn about 20 words till they are about 18 months old. So, what does speech therapy for toddlers mean?

Children who are on the autism spectrum generally find it difficult to communicate. Given that they are also typically visually oriented, it takes longer for them to speak fluently. Children learn word pronunciation as late as when they are three years of age. However, if the problem is not associated with pronunciation and your child is not talking, parents must act quickly. Consulting a speech therapist should be strongly considered.

Some common symptoms to look out for is when children react inconsistently to sounds, mispronounce vowels, use one catch phrase to point at different things, or use single words inconsistently, and in general, lack progress, etc.

Children in need of speech therapy don’t get frustrated when they are unable to communicate with their parents or peers. Instead, they prefer doing things by themselves. This behavior may come across as being aloof, but parents should be cautious and alert for speech related issues. If symptoms are observed consistently in children between 20 and 24 months, parents should immediately seek help from a speech therapist.

Speech therapy is a scientific method of understanding the root cause of speech problems in children.

  • Some of the techniques used involve teaching children to use simple sounds such /ma/ and /ba/ which are simple syllables.

  • Speaking slowly so that the child can understand is another simple yet effective technique.

  • Playing with the child is a great way to communicate. Parents can speak in simple language so that the child can understand and react. It could be about what you are doing or where you are going.

  • Reading books aloud is a form of speech therapy.

  • Using hand movements, such as waving and clapping, could help in building receptive language.

  • Introducing small words to children such as doll, pink, pink doll will teach them to associate words together which is a step toward building sentences.

  • Making eye contact is important as well. It encourages children to communicate effectively.

  • Teach new and easy words such as mommy and daddy and encourage them to use them frequently.

  • Teach children polite manners by using words such as excuse me, thank you and please. This activity helps in grooming children. Consider enlisting the help of family members for this activity.

  • Singing and rhyming helps children relate better and willingly participate in learning. This is a fun process of learning for children.

  • Specific toys aid children in speech therapy. Some common toys include children’s keyboards that generate music, wooden blocks, and toys that encourage movement.

For toddlers and children on the autism spectrum, speech therapy is imperative for a fruitful social life.

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