A communication delay in children is more common than you might think. Contrary to what you may have heard, it is not always an indicator of autism spectrum disorder. Nor do a majority of children with ASD have a speech delay. But regardless of what causes the delay, it can be disconcerting as a parent to see your child missing key developmental milestones with their speech. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to help your child through their communication delay. Read on to learn more!
Talk as Much as You Can!
Let’s start with the most fundamental thing you should keep in mind when helping your child through their communication delay: you should try to talk as much as you can. Make a point of speaking even when you wouldn’t normally. Narrate your everyday actions, as well as the actions of your child.
Your child may have a communication delay, but their brain is fundamentally like that of any other child; it absorbs. The more you speak in front of your child, the more language they will absorb. Just because you do not hear them speaking back to you doesn’t mean you aren’t making a difference!
Use Gestures and Sign Language
Many parents whose children have communication delays shy away from using gestures or sign language. This is because they fear these techniques might become a crutch that prevents them from expressing themselves by speech. There is very little evidence to support this idea. In fact, all the evidence we have points to the opposite.
Urging your child to communicate in whatever way they feel most comfortable is beneficial. Even if they begin communicating through gestures or signs before they form words, doing so can help them become more comfortable with the concepts of communication and social interaction.
Hire a Speech Therapist
Therapy for your child starts at home. But the experience of a professional can do wonders to help your child out of their communication delay. Our expert speech and language therapists can provide your child with the attention and care they need to grow more comfortable with communication. We emphasize all forms of communication—be they verbal or nonverbal. We also emphasize comprehension of others’ speech and improved articulation once they’re ready!
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.