What is language?
The American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) says:
Language is made up of socially shared rules that include the following:
- - What words mean (e.g., "star" can refer to a bright object in the night sky or a celebrity)
- - How to make new words (e.g., friend, friendly, unfriendly)
- - How to put words together (e.g., "Peg walked to the new store" rather than "Peg walk store new")
- - What word combinations are best in what situations ("Would you mind moving your foot?" could quickly change to "Get off my foot, please!" if the first request did not produce results)
Here are some activities you can do with your toddler to improve receptive language skills.
- Play “Simon Says” to help your toddler follow simple directions.
- Teach your toddler basic body parts such as eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Have your toddler point to pictures as you name them.
Expressive language is what your toddler or child says or expresses. A toddler or child with an expressive language delay has a difficult time speaking and telling you his/her wants and needs.
Here are some activities you can do with your toddler to improve expressive language skills.
- Have your toddler repeat simple sounds such as animal sounds and vehicle sounds during play ·
- Help your toddler point or gesture to an item he/she wants instead of crying for it.
- Try to have your toddler say the word or part of the word for a wanted item.
What is speech?
The American Speech-Language Hearing Association says:
Speech is the verbal means of communicating.
Here are some activities you can do with your toddler to improve articulation, voice, and fluency:
- Use short, simple phrases when talking with your toddler
- Allow enough time for him/her to get the message across to you
- Practice good vocal habits that your toddler can observe and learn
So, that's the basics of toddler speech therapy. I hope it helped you understand the topic a little better. If you are concerned that your child may have a speech or language disorder, please don't hesitate to contact a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist. He/she can conduct a comprehensive speech-language evaluation to determine if speech therapy is needed.
To learn more speech and language tips to help your toddler talk and communicate faster, be sure to check out my book on Amazon Kindle, Talking With Todders - 52 Tips to Boost Speech and Language Skills.