Our Special Needs Co-ordinator works with children with any extra needs. These could be physical, emotional, behavioural or speech and language. They will work with the child and parent to put unique support strategies in place which enable the child to get the best possible outcomes for themselves enabling them to access all areas of the curriculum.
It’s important to remember that speech and language develop differently for each child. Here are some simple tips to help your child’s speech and language development: –
- Time – always give your child plenty of time to organise their thoughts, always acting on any attempts to communicate i.e. any gesture, eye pointing or vocalisation;
- Extend – whatever language level your child is at (whether 2, 3 or 4-word level), add in another word i.e. black cat, yes, he’s a soft black cat – taking the lead from the child;
- Repeat and model – don’t correct mistakes in grammar or articulation, just model back the correct way of saying the sentence and using in context i.e. ‘I like toys’, ‘yes stories are fun’ (giving the slightest emphasis to the mispronounced sound);
- Meaningful – keep language meaningful to the child – a child will find it easer to talk about something he is looking at or doing at the time. Try not to revisit and question an event later in the day;
- Don’t overload with lots of instructions or questions – try and use comments, open questions or suggestions during play at a level they understand.
Remember that certain sounds take longer to develop – simple sounds such as p, b, m, w, d develop first (by 2 years). Last come sounds requiring more skilled muscle control such as sh, ch, th, r (4 or 5 years). Please ask a member of staff if you would like a handout with more detailed information on speech development.
Activities to help speech sounds
The clapping or game (children don’t understand the word ‘syllable’ so refer to as claps or you can even stamp your feet, whichever is more fun!!). This can either by done using particular pictures of interest (e.g. animals) or a feely bag or simply comparing names. Turn it into a game by seeing which object has the most claps and the object can then be placed on a plate marked 1,2, or 3 (with corresponding spots) which also helps with counting and number recognition. This activity generally helps children who often miss out the start or end of words i.e. nana instead of banana and helps them understand the pattern/rhythm in spoken words.
I-spy can either be used to develop a target sound or can simply be used to develop colour, shape, size awareness. This can be done anywhere – walking to Pre-School, in the car, in the supermarket!!
Feely bag/box have a treasure hunt at home, on a walk or find general household items and place them in a decorated shoe box or bag, then simply take turns pulling them out, naming as you go. After using the sound bag, you could pass a bean bag or object to each other and keep adding words and turning it into a game i.e. coin, coin cat, coin cat clip, coin cat clip crash!!
Poster collage encourage your child to take photos or pictures out of magazines (using scissors is an excellent way of developing fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination) with the target sound(s). Create a poster for each target sound or a scrapbook.
Kim’s game placing items on a tray with target sound(s), place a tea towel over and remove one object getting the child to close his/her eyes each time. This can also help counting in sequence, memory and develop conversation depending on which items are selected.
Playing games children love snap, matching pairs, word lotto – easy to hand – make from pictures or buy to either work on target sound(s) or develop general language skills and memory.
Most importantly it’s all about taking the lead from your child, giving them your time and having fun!! Please pass on and share any other activities you may have tried that worked.
Please ask if you have any specific concerns about your child.