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Provo City School District

Sunset View Elementary School

Each week we will be sharing a tip from our school psychologist, Mrs. Rollins. 

This week we are talking about How to Support Speech-Language Development? 

A lot of speech and language develops in early childhood, so much of the information about this topic is geared to pre-school age students. If your student is older and delayed, these ideas can still be applied, but perhaps aging up the content to their interest level would help these strategies still apply.    

  1. Engage in play – when you play with your children you support social emotional skill (it’s sad when you lose a turn, but you’ll get another one), how to take turns, how to establish joint attention (i.e. two people pay attention to the same thing and recognize they share the moment), following directions, learning routines and gain new vocabulary.  
  2. Talk through daily activities – talk through your routine for the day with your kids so they can see how you follow through on plans using narrative language like: first, next, then, after and last. Involve your children in planning activities, predict the outcome and talk about if they came true after the event.   
  3. Read books together daily – while reading together, make sure to stop at times and label or describe what is happening in the story. If there are pictures, talk about what is happening in the pictures and how that relates to the story. This helps with understanding the text and the rules of language as presented in the book.  
  4. Sing Songs together – when you sing songs with your child, it exposes them to new vocabulary and encourages them to imitate sounds and language phrases. Nursery rhymes help young children with key language and literacy skills that prepare them to learn to read. For older kids, just make sure the language in the songs you are singing with them match language you want them to use.  
  5. Practice Good Vocal Hygiene  – kids have a range of volume that can affect their vocal folds. They should be encouraged to use their voices in ways that won’t cause harm to their vocal folds, like too much yelling. It’s also important for kids to drink water to keep vocal folds hydrated and healthy. Lastly, adults should model good rhythm and rate of speaking. 

In all these strategies it is also important to incorporate WH questions (who, what, where, when, why). And always if you have questions or concerns about speech development or other developmental delays, contact the following: 

-If your child is younger than 3, Contact Provo Early Intervention Program (PEIP) at 801-852-4525. 

-If your child is aged 3-5, an evaluation can be done through Sunrise Preschool. For more info visit: http://sunrise.provo.edu/school-information/special-education-services-referral-informaiton/ 

-School age – contact your school team (teacher, principal, special education leader) with concerns.  

Don’t forget to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages! 

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