Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Language Development-18 months
Peanut (my 16 month old) does a lot of babbling but not making a lot of words that I can understand. I always wonder how much is normal, am I to worry and what can I do to encourage her language skills. In thinking of this I referred to a binder of handouts I got from Parents as Teachers. So off and on I will share with you some things I got from here.
Some ideas to promote your child's language:
1. Use stretch talk or expansion--this is simply repeating his short sentences or one word statements into more information. Like if he says, "bear down" You can expand by saying, "Would you like me to get your bear down for you?"
2. Use imitation--Just repeat his words back pronounced correctly without saying he said it wrong
3. Use parallel talk--Just talk to him about what he is doing while he is playing or eating. I like to do this on walks and narrating the scene around me
4. Read books to him every day--talk about the pictures, let him turn the pages. You don't necessarily have to read the story--this can be frustrating when they turn the pages before your done reading so just follow their lead. When they are ready to hear the whole story you will know.
5. Teach your child the names of body parts. Once he knows the easier ones add to include harder parts like chin, elbow, eyelashes, cheek
6. Sing songs to your child. Rhythm, melody and rhyme are fun for him. Repeat his favorites and someday he'll start singing with you
7. Continue to recite nursery rhymes. Once he is familiar with a rhyme trying excluding words and see if he can fill in the blank. Listening and playing with words helps your child get ready for reading.
One I would add is try sign language with your children. Always say the word with the sign. This is a way they can communicate with you. They often can sign before they can speak but a lot of the time those are some of the first words my kids have said is the words they regularly sign.
Don't compare you child to other children. All children learn on their own timeline. According to this handout it says that by the time your child is 18 months they usually start putting words together and have a vocabulary of about 50 words. If you don't see a growth spurt by the time he turns 2 consult your pediatrician.