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Language Delays and Helpful Home Strategies - Speechinar

In this Speechinar, we are discussing the two main components of language development in little ones from birth to five years old. We also discuss the signs of delayed speech and share our favorite tips and tricks that parents and guardians can implement easily in the home to allow little ones' language skills to grow and flourish.

Speechinar Transcript


Hi everyone, and welcome. My name is Lenora Edwards and I'm a board certified speech language pathologist with Better Speech. Thank you so much for joining us and being here with us today. Today's presentation is on language delays and helpful home strategies. So without further ado, our presentation for today. So, right off the bat, by the end of you're actually going to be able to have a little bit more information about Better Speech us as a company. What the role of a speech language pathologist is? The difference between language and speech and the difference between receptive language and expressive language. You're also going to have a better understanding of language development milestones in little ones birth to five years old. And we're going to talk about the milestones that they are meeting.


And we're also going to talk about signs of a delay and things to look for. And we are also going to be able to offer you a variety of helpful home strategies and how you can implement them right at home from the very comfort of where you live. So a little bit about Better Speech. We were founded out of necessity. The need to make speech therapy services convenient, affordable and effective. That has always been our goal and that will always continue to be our goal. We are actually a group of practitioners that are over 150 strong right now, and we are based throughout the United States, and we are also based internationally, which is pretty impressive and something that we are extraordinarily proud of.


And over the years, what we have created and we have been online since long before the pandemic, we have created the best online speech therapy platform around. So an SLP, a speech language pathologist, what are we? What do we do? As a speech language pathologist, myself, I'm going to just talk for myself at this point and for all of us at Better Speech, we are individuals that work with people to assess their speech and language development skills, but also to assess their communication skills, their cognitive skills. We work with individuals, as I often say, from the neck and up. We each hold a master's degree and we have passed the nationally recognized examination, and we have also completed a year long of what we refer to as our clinical fellowship year.


So for me specifically, I had gone to an undergrad program and I started out in nursing. And I absolutely love the nursing field. It just wasn't for me. And to all the nurses out there, thank you for all that you do. It just simply wasn't the right fit for me. And that is how I became a speech language pathologist. I was an undergrad, and I went over to the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. I earned my bachelor's degree at East Strasbourg and then I went on for my master's degree. Little side note for individuals that are a speech language pathologist, sometimes you may hear that these clinicians went through a five year program versus six year program. This does not make them any less qualified.


They are completely qualified, and we have all met the standards that are required by the Board of Examination and also by the individual states that we reside in. Moving right along here. Okay, so what is language? And I did have all of this information right from the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association, what we refer to ASHA, or sometimes you may hear ASHA. So all this information is from the website, where you can easily find it if you have questions and you don't have time to pull up this presentation afterwards. So let's talk about language. Language refers to the words we use and how we use them to share our ideas and to get what we want. Everything that I'm doing right now is expressive language. So what we're talking about is we're talking about what the words and what they mean.


So when we say star, we use our language to effectively explain, are we talking about the star in the sky? Or are we talking about the superstar celebrity that we're seeing? We also make new words. This is how we go from friend to friendly or unfriendly. This is also how we go from child to children. So it allows using language, allows us to move through and shape these sentences, how we put words together. If you ever read it or hear anything in another language, and then you translate it to our English language, you'll notice that it has most of the pieces, but something is just a little grammatically off for our language. The way we use our language. This is why we come across and say, Peg walked to the new store instead of Peg walk store new.


That's language, how we weave our grammar, how we put our sentences together. This is all language. We also get to use language in a variety of different ways. So would you kindly move your foot or get off of my foot? All language, all conveying a message. When it comes to speech, what exactly are we talking about for speech? Speech refers to how we say our sounds. It also refers to our articulation, the intelligibility of how we produce the sounds that are in our language. We're also talking about our voice. Sometimes our voice may sound a little strained or strangled. If you ever have had a cold, you'll notice that it's just not quite your normal vocal quality. But we also work with individuals when it comes to their voice. And absolutely fluency. Fluency refers to the rhythm of our speech.


You'll often hear, this is a fluent speaker, or this might be a disfluent speaker. We're talking about how those words are coming out, how they're being expressed, and how fluently that speaker is able to effectively say what they want to say. Now, when we're talking a language disorder, versus a speech disorder. We can have trouble with speech, so the articulation voice fluency or we can have trouble with language. We may have trouble understanding language. When it comes to language, there's actually two parts. We have the receptive component. Everything that you're able to hear and understand right now is the receptive component of language. Everything that I'm expressing, the verbal, this is the expressive component of language. Also when it comes to receptive, when we're reading information, that's a receptive component. That's understanding language.


When it comes to expressive, when we're writing, typing texting, that's expressive language. Expressive allows us to express our wants and our needs and our thoughts. It's possible to have difficulty understanding and expressing. It's possible to have difficulty understanding information and it's also possible to have difficulty with that speech component and to have that combination of all of these factors going on. It's very interesting. Unless you really think about what we do in our field, most of us don't think too much about our speech. It's very second nature. Especially as fluent adult speakers, we're not often thinking how do I weave this sentence together? The reason is because we are always learning language. We started learning language very early on and I actually tell people and when they share with me that they're expecting a little one, I say great, start talking.


Because what we're conveying with language very specifically here, we're talking about our ability to communicate from the expressive component. But language is all around us. We have the language of emotion, we have the language of facial expressions. We have so many different components going on. So when we're talking about a new little one being born and coming into this world, what they're going to be immersed in is a variety of language. So when they're within the womb start talking, they can actually hear the sounds that are going on around them. Also once they are born. Here's this really interesting factor. Your little one started learning language as I mentioned in the womb. But also on day one they start to understand the environment. They're starting to put it together. The sounds that they hear, the voices that they hear, the grammar that they hear.


Our brain has the ability to understand language. Now that being said, there must be language input. There must be input into that brain for it to make combined cohesive sense. Over time, little ones, their minds and bodies grow so fast and the great thing is that they are able to understand this information without quite literally sitting down at a table and studying it. That's how they learn. They learn because they're immersed in it. They learn because it is surrounded by them all the time. That is a great thing. And this is why we truly encourage to continue talking when it comes to little ones. So from birth to six months, these are the milestones that were going to talk about at the very beginning they startle the sounds, okay? If you're holding them, you'll feel them shake.


When they start to hear something really loud, this is a very normal response. They also start to quiet and they also start to smile when you talk, especially to a familiar listener or a familiar speaker. This is a great thing. Why is that happening? It's because they're understanding you. They're understanding and they're understanding this other component of gentle comfort, this component of love, this component of affection, but also this familiar comfort of your voice. So it's truly important to continue talking. You'll also start to notice that they move their eyes in the direction of sound. Now in a little bit you'll actually see they'll actually turn to sound, what we call that is localizing sound. They're turning to where they hear that sound coming from. In this case, little ones.


They're actually looking toward the sound because they know that something happened, but what is it? And curiosity will effectively result in them looking to hear the sound. They also respond to changes in voices. Which is why when you hear or when somebody's having a very gentle voice, they know that. But also if they hear a very strong, intense, upset voice, they know that too. So they're actually able to understand the difference between the tones. They also notice their toys that make sounds. So they're really paying attention. Another great thing to also notice is that they respond beautifully to music, to gentle music. I wouldn't necessarily break out the Kiss records just yet, but really that gentle, soothing component when it comes to expressive language.


So little ones, especially right off the bat when we'll get to this also in a little bit, I'll say it again, but when they say my little one isn't talking yet, this is what's really important to understand is that talking words is different than communicating. It's not quite the same. We're talking about communication as an expressive communication. When they're making cooing sounds, when they're crying, when they're smiling. This is all communication. So it's truly important to understand that your little one is responding to you. So their coos and their cries start to change. And this is often why you'll hear parents say or guardians oh no, that's this cry because they can hear it from another room and it's familiar. The reason you know that's a different cry is because baby wants you to know that's a different cry.


That is them communicating. They're not making a specific decision that says oh no, this is me wanting them to come over and feed me. They're going this signal is going off of my body. This is why I'm having this cry. And I've now been able to communicate it effectively to the person that takes care of me. That this is my cry for hunger. This is my cry for attention. This is my cry for comfort. That is communication and that is a great thing. Coos and babbles when playing alone or with you. So they're little gurgles, their little ooze. That's a great thing. That's them starting to play with their voice. They're starting to understand. I have a voice too. This is a great thing. This is also when they make sounds. That when they're happy and when they're upset.


So now we're going to move forward to seven months to twelve months. They're starting to turn. As I said before, they'll look for the sound now seven to twelve months, they're starting to turn. They're starting to localize toward that sound. When you point to something, you're starting to able to draw their attention forward. They look when you point another one, they turn when you call their name. So if you're sitting with your little one, you're like Bobby, they huh, that sounds familiar. Familiar voice. It's a familiar word. They may not actually understand that you're talking to them, but it's familiar enough that it registers. Oh, I know that one. They've said it a million times already. They understand common words such as cup, truck, juice, especially when your little one is with their toys on the ground.


Things that are familiar to them because we've now immersed them in language, in their familiar items of their cup, their truck, their juice, daddy, mommy, whomever. We've immersed them in the familiarity of this environment, which is why these words are really able to understand you're able to see them, understand that they know what you're talking about. They'll also start to understand no and come here and do you want more? These are common phrases that you've now said likely throughout the time that they have been with you since the wonderful day that they were born. This is why it's truly important to talk to your children. Another thing to really remember is to talk face to face with them. As I mentioned before, we're constantly communicating through our language. We're communicating through the language that we use, but we're also communicating through our affection.


We're also communicating through our voice. Little ones love expressions. The more expressive you can be, the more responsive you're going to see them. This is a great thing, especially when you take half away. At one point we had to cover our face and we had to take away half of our face. The great thing is that now, especially when you're in a comfortable environment, let them see your face. Let them really understand that this is something of language. This is how we communicate language. And it's truly important. So keep talking to your children and talk to them face to face. You can play games. Familiar things like peekaboo, patty cake, familiar nursery rhymes.


These actually start to go into the brain in a different way, allowing us to really understand them more significantly, especially when melody is involved because our brain really likes melody. You'll start to notice that they babble in longer strings. So you might hear typically P, B and M. The letters P, and M or B are typically the first ones that are developing first, because your little one, when you're face to face with them, can see these sounds on your lips and you've now also gone or while you're eating tons and tons of times. And when you're doing it, they're looking at you going they're instinctively trying to model you. That is a great thing. Allow them to model you. Another fun thing is when they're battling in strings, you model them.


That's going to help them understand that there's a back and forth to language, that there's an understanding and there's an expression. And when you're allowing them to take their time and to make silly sounds and then you model them, they go, I made that sound too. They did it too. And it's a great back and forth. It's a great connection and communication of language and it really helps them understand back and forth, receptive, expressive. Your turn. My turn. They'll start to use sounds and gestures to keep your attention. They'll point to objects and shows them to others. So a lot of the time if you're playing a toy or you have or if they're playing with the toy or they have a book, they're going to bring it up to you. They want you to see what they're seeing.


That's a great thing too, because they're communicating to you, oh, hey, look, I want you to see this. That's a great thing. Typically around their first year, they're going to start to say first words. This is a good rule of thumb. One year old, one year, two years old, or one year old. One word, one word. Things you're going to start to hear, one word language, two years old, two word combinations of language you're going to start to hear. So here we have they say one to two words. Hi bye dog. These are also going to come out as approximations. They're asking you for juice. Pretty hard word. You might hear more do verse juice. It's going to be an approximation. They're going to do their best.


That's a great thing because that's them understanding language, being able to know what they want, being able to find the appropriate word for what they want, and being able to express what they want, even if it's not crystal clear, it's great that they're attempting, and we absolutely count it as expression and expression of language. So diving into what can we do to encourage this at home? And I've touched on a few of these as we've gone along, so you can check to see if your child is hearing. So let me touch on this really quick. All newborns actually are given a hearing screening. And in that hearing screening, what you'll hear them say is at least one ear is within functional limits. And that's a good thing because what they're doing they're working to assess, can my child hear?


And if one ear isn't within functional limits, that's a good thing from a newborn standpoint. Now, as we go forward in their age, when you start to notice that they might not be startling to sounds or that they might not be cooing or effectively making strings and vowels as we've talked about, that is absolutely a cause for concern and it is something you want to address with your pediatrician, if you're noticing. They were not really alerting to my voice, as in when I call them, they're not starting to look for me. Or if something bangs in the other room, they're not looking for the sound. That is an indicator that they might not be hearing. Another indicator of difficulty hearing may be if they have repeated ear infections.


Now, that's super important because little ones that have consistent ear infections, what's happening is they're hearing sound, but they're not hearing it as well. And when they're not hearing it as well, they might not have the ability to keep expressing to if they have difficulty hearing, they might not be as clear in expressing. So that I touched on about hearing. Respond to your child when your little one is even if they're by themselves and they're laying in the playpen and nothing overt is happening and they're playing, engage with them. Allow them to start babbling and allow yourself to really engage with them and listen to the noises that they're making, but also play. Get on their level, have that face to face interaction. You can be on the floor with them and absolutely engage because this is so important.


What you're doing is you're responding to your child. You're observing them. They're understanding on a very deep level that they're seen, that they're heard, that they're loved, and they're also engaging and you're engaging with them and it creates this beautiful back and forth. So always make time to really be on their level and to have that face to face interaction. Allow yourself to mimic them, to imitate them, allow them to imitate you really, truly back and forth, give and take. Teaching your baby to imitate actions like peekaboo, clapping, blowing kisses are all phenomenal, especially because these are ones that you can do on the go. Oh, somebody is leaving, bye. Or peekaboo, take the stuffed animal elephant. Where did he go? Peekaboo. Hello. Bye bye. Those types of things, they can be very repetitive.


And you're right there in the moment and it's a really great way to introduce greetings and introduce clapping and introduce peekaboo and really reinforce it. This other thing so I mentioned to you earlier about keep talking. What does that actually look like? Talk about what you're doing and talk about why you're doing it. Or talk about how you're doing it, or where you're doing it. So if baby is in the high chair and you're preparing some food, talk about what you're doing. I'm taking out the banana and I'm going to cut some slices and we're going to make small pieces. And it feels squishy. And when you go and put it on the plate, we have one, two, three pieces of bananas. Oh my goodness. Let's squish them and play with them.


That is getting really creative and that is creating a beautifully rich language environment rather than just here's, banana. See the difference? Allow yourself to talk and allow yourself to narrate. You're already talking inside your head to yourself. Allow the words to come out, especially when you're with your little one. Okay? Talk about where you go, what you're going to do when you get there, what you're going to see, especially when you're out on walks. Take them out of the stroller. Point out the tree. Point out how it feels. Allowing yourself to really explore the world and to share it with your little one. It's a great thing to do. Another one. Teach animal sounds like a cow says moo and read to your child.


I actually saw a comment pop in from a question from one of the parents on here and it says, I keep hearing how reading is so important to your children, by more toddler, but my toddler won't let me finish the book. Okay, so that's a great question. I'm going to get to that. So absolutely. The great thing is, as much as possible, keep introducing, keep offering language. Keep offering language in a variety of forms, in the variety of songs, in the variety of just mimicking babbling, in the variety of books. As you're doing that, you're offering language. And another key factor, especially when it comes to reading, keep it fun. As children are naturally curious and naturally want to have a great time, allow them to be the leader and to make things as fun as possible.


And if you aren't sure how to make it fun, a great question to ask yourself, how might I make this more fun? It is such a phenomenal question because it takes, how do I make this fun? How might I make this fun? It just opens the entire world by adding one word. How might okay, so let's move on to one and two years old. So we still are here with our receptive language. What you're going to start to notice is that they're able to point to a few body parts. They're able to follow one step directions. Notice the one, kiss the baby, wave goodbye, blow, kiss, roll the ball. Respond to simple questions. Where's your shoe? Where's your teddy? Where's your juice?


And they hear the word and they go, oh, I know that answer. And they go to find the answer that you're looking for. They'll listen to simple stories and simple songs and rhymes. You'll notice that they'll engage with a book, but they might go really quickly. That's okay. But the good thing is that they're getting that exposure to it. They start to point to pictures in a book, and if you have all the animals lined up or all the dinosaurs lined up, whatever you might like, they'll start to point or you can start to point to them and name them along with them from an expressive language. They're going to start using a lot of new words. We often say you might hear a language blossom or a language explosion. This is a good thing.


Typically from 18 months to 24 months is really when it starts to pick up speed. This is the slower build at the twelve month, 14 month mark, this is the slower build you're going to start to hear, oh, they didn't know that word last week. So they're going to use lots of new words. They're going to start making new sounds. So now we have the letter P, the letter B, M, the letter H, and W. And you're also going to start to hear those combinations with vowels. So that's that approximation that we talked about. So it might not be bottle, but it might be bottle close. Okay. They'll start to ask questions like, what's that? Where's kitty? And they're going to start to put words together. More, please. More juice, mommy book. Those are great indicators that their language is in bloom.


They're starting that growth, and that is a wonderful thing. So what can I do to encourage and support that language development? Talk to your child. I know I've said this a lot, and I'm probably going to continue to say this a thousand more times. Keep talking to them. I see a dog. The dog says what? What you're doing is you're offering different sentences and different combinations of what you're seeing. And it's allowing them to understand the world on a completely different level. Use short words and sentences that they can always mimic. That's a good thing. Let's say they want juice. They went from juice to more juice. Now you can start to do more juice, please. And it's going to start to build if you're working, if you're at that component where now, okay, there are two words.


Now we're going to start moving toward three word combinations. Talk about the sounds around the house. Listen to the clock go tick, tick. Making car sounds. If you have little boys, you might have already been doing that a little more often, especially if your parent or guardian is a car enthusiast. You'll play with sounds at bath time, you're at eye level. That's a great thing. Bath time is phenomenal for face to face interaction. Even if they're to the side, you're going to start to see them turn and you can get that engagement. Add words to your child. So when they say red car or car, in this case, you're right, that is a big red car. When you're adding words. So they've now given you one or two word combinations. You're building off of that.


And they don't have to model that entire slew of words that you offered. But what you're doing is you're offering that language growth and that expansion of language. That's a great thing. Continue to read to your child. Another great tip, especially from that parent that asked about reading, if you're having a little one that really isn't interested in books, find a way to get them interested in books, such as going to the library. And I don't know if people still will end up going to a library a lot these days they do still exist and that's a great thing. Allow them to explore what it might be is. Maybe they're not that interested in farm animals. Maybe they're more interested in sharks, or maybe they're more interested in cars, or maybe they're more interested in flowers.


Whatever it may be, find alternative ways to offer that book exposure and to offer that integration of books, especially if you have a little reading bookcase in the home. Find a new way to make it special. Even having a reading corner or a reading chair or a reading blanket, something that will connect that good feeling with reading, especially if it's just quality time between you and somebody else or another great one, especially for little ones that really are energized. If you have certain scents that will help them relax and relax into bedtime. Scents are a great way to really help bring that nervous system all together, but to also keep offering that language exposure into something really special, which is reading together. Ask your child to name pictures. He may not answer at first.


Just name the pictures for them one day they might surprise you. And that's really a great thing that I love that this is actually pointed out here. When you're asking your little one to encourage that language, continue to support it. Versus press it. Not you say it. Car. Oh, wow, it's a car. And you can even say, oh, your turn. You try it and they don't try it. That's okay. But even pointing or oh, car. Wow, I love that. I heard you say car. When they do offer language, when they do express themselves, that's a great opportunity to say wow, I loved hearing your voice. Wow, that was a great sentence. Wow, that was a great thing that you said versus okay.


Offering that reinforcement, offering that positive encouragement that they did something from that expressive language standpoint is a great way to help build that expressive language without adding pressure of you do it, you do it. That can be very testing and it can be very taxing and it can actually really encourage our children to not do that. Moving on to two to three. So what you're going to start to notice is that they understand opposites like. Go and stop big little they're actually going to start to follow that two step direction and they're going to understand new words faster. This is where you're really going to start to see that language explosion. In typical developing children, they have a word for almost everything. And now you're going from two word combinations over to three word combinations.


They're using their D sounds and shows a lot of kg FTD. Their language and their effectiveness for their articulation is going to be much more appropriate and much more developmentally on target. They're going to start to use words like on and under prepositions. Those are great. Also they're going to start to ask why questions. This is a phenomenal thing. They're so curious. Great way to encourage it. Use short sentences. We mentioned that before. Repeat. We also mentioned that before how if they say pretty flower, you can offer that building and that growth. Talking about colors and shapes, practicing, counting. As they're talking, as you're hearing those two to three word combinations, you can continue to build upon it. Children are naturally curious. We can absolutely follow their lead. And they're typically going to be the ones that find ways to make it fun.


So continue to follow their lead. This one is really name objects and talk about the picture of each page. Use words that are similar, like mommy, woman, lady, grown up, adult. That's a really good one because they're going to start to understand that mommy just isn't a one version. There are also lots of different versions. To understand woman or to understand older adult, or to understand a grown up. That's a great thing because you're offering that language. These are a few more ways to continue to build upon that. You can look at family pictures around the house, helping them name the family members, especially ones that they might not see too often. Sing songs, play finger games, continue to tell nursery rhymes. You're really going to continue to see this blossom.


So these are all great recommendations on how to continue to build your little one's language. As we get into three and four years old, they're going to respond from when you call to another room. So if you say Brady, come here. They should hear their name and come to you appropriately. They're going to start to understand more colors and more shapes and really be able to really get that into categories of understanding what these colors are and the lists of colors that they are for an expressive component. They're going to start to answer simple questions of who, what and where. They're going to really start to understand rhyming. Cat in the hat.


It's a great book to help with sight words, but to also help with Rhyming, they're going to use their pronouns i, you, we, you're going to start to hear their sentences become more grammatically correct than they were. But they're still not going to be quite on par, where they would be at five years old and six years old and above. That's completely normal. So when they say rather than I went to school, I go to school, is something you might hear and I go to school, that's a very appropriate, developmentally appropriate way of saying it. And you can always gently offer, oh, you went to school today. Wow. And offering that redirection without pointing it out. Talk about what happened during the day. Now, this is truly important, especially if you're on car rides. Talk about the things you see.


Talk about the things that they're thinking. This is so important. Car rides are phenomenal for offering language and for offering building of that conversation, especially when they get to this age level. Because what it's going to allow them to do is it's going to allow them to really understand it's going to really allow them to understand this back and forth. And they're going to be able to start to carry a conversation as they get to four and five years old. When you're talking in the car, no, you're not going to be face to face, and I'm very aware of that. But you can still have this conversation and you can still engage with them, and you can still ask, what did you do today? Where should we go? What might you see when we go to the grocery store?


Well, we're on our way to Grandma's. I wonder what we'll see. What do we usually see when we drive on the way to Grandma's? And asking those questions, not in a testing way, but in a conversational way, in an engaging way. It's a great time to really build and build that language. As they get into four and five years old, they're going to start to understand complex directions. First do this, next do that. And they're going to understand time yesterday, today, tomorrow. That's a great thing in this case, okay, I want you to go upstairs, brush your teeth, change into your pajamas, and pick out a book and wait for me. They're going to be able to understand that. So you can really see how much they've understood from day one.


Their expressive language is going to continue to grow from that articulation component. These harder sounds, s sounds, what we also refer to as S blends, such as slide or spoon, that's an S blend. These sounds are going to start to develop more clearly. Th, think thumb with that's a Th component. Or this, that's a Th component. You're going to start to hear these sounds really become nice and crisp if they're developing appropriately. You're also going to start to hear them tell you a few more stories, which is a great thing. And they're also going to be able to change their language from when they're talking with a peer to when they're talking with an adult. That's quite a skill. And it's a really great skill and you're going to see that start to develop.


These are other ways to offer ways to encourage and support language within the home. Pay attention when your child speaks. Respond, praise. I know we talked about that earlier. Wow, that was a great story you told me. Thank you so much. I now understand so much more about Jack and the Beanstalk. Even if you've heard it 300 times, that's okay. What you're doing is you're acknowledging them and you're expressing to them that you heard them, that they said a good story or that there was great structure in it, in that when they're telling you a story, what you also get the ability to do is to really understand, was there a beginning? Was there a middle, was there an end? Was there an end? Was I able to understand what he was talking about?


Was I able to understand all the characters she had mentioned in their story? This is a great thing, and it allows you to really see how far their language has come, and it'll allow you to see if you're not following it or if they're not able to hold the conversation and they're not able to hold that story and tell you that story. That's also an indicator that there may be a delay in development. And that's something you absolutely want to address. If you're noticing, especially as we're coming to the end of this, if you're noticing with your little one, yeah, something doesn't seem quite right. If you're feeling those internal instincts of something just isn't quite right, I can't put my finger on it. Listen to your instincts. I encourage people to do this all the time. Absolutely. Listen to your instincts.


Another great thing is to you're welcome to ask Friends and Family the caveat sometimes when you're really trying to listen and I've heard many parents share with me, everybody told me I was crazy and I really just listened to my instincts. And I reached out to a speech language pathologist. I've heard that so many times I have lost count. And it's not that people aren't wanting your best interest and that they're not wanting to help, but sometimes people may also not know what you know. They don't feel what you feel as that parent or guardian to a little one. So if you have concerns or if you're like, I just can't put my finger on it or just for my own mental comfort, please reach out to a professional at Better Speech.


We offer a free 15 minutes consultation to everyone, whether you are having concerns about your little one or if you have concerns about an aging parent when you want to talk to a professional. And this is something that I absolutely love about our company and I am so incredibly proud of it, because we offer a free 15 minutes consultation. You have the ability to speak with a speech language pathologist. The next business day. Okay. You don't have to wait six months to get your answered questions on an outpatient list. You don't have to wait till early intervention is able to come in, and that might be three months. When it comes to your little one, when it comes to the growth and development of your little one, that mind and body are growing at an exceptional rate.


So much that we still don't have all the pieces. Even though our science field is incredibly advanced, there is so much going on, and time is of the essence. So if you have concerns, if you have questions, please reach out to us at Better Speech. You can visit, and we will do our very best to answer any and all of your questions. I don't know if any of you have ever been in this situation, but if I have concerns and I roll over at 02:00 a.m. And I have concerns, I don't want to wait till 08:00 A.m. To be told I have to wait six months. I much prefer to wait till 08:00 A.m. To get in touch with a professional. So this is why I absolutely love that we offer this.


And bonus, in the event that you're saying, you know what, I would like to meet with a speech language pathologist. We can get you matched as early as the next date, the next day with a speech language pathologist in your state. This is pretty cool about being a speech language pathologist, especially with Better Speech. I live in one state. I am licensed in five states, which allows me to have the ability to effectively communicate and reach and help people in other states, in other time zones. Because I am licensed in that state and because we have used technology to our advantage, that is a phenomenal thing of which I am wildly proud of, to be able to help people in that way. I'm going to check back into the chat really quick. There were a few questions that did pop up.


I try to do language tasks and speech tasks with my child at the kitchen table, but it always ends up being a power struggle. I love that you said that, parent, thank you so much. Can you help give some tips about how I can work on our language and speech goals in other ways? Absolutely. That is phenomenal. Phenomenal component that you shared with us. Another great way to do that in our way of making language functional, the great thing is that you don't have to sit down anymore. I know. I grew up in the we had to sit down and do our homework, and it was very structured. When it comes to language development, it's a completely different game. Make it as fun as possible. If your little one doesn't want to sit, no problem.


If your little one wants to go outside and explore in the dirt and play with a ball and find things to do out there. That's great, because you know what? Language lives out there, too. It does not necessarily have to be restricted to very structured environments. Make it fun, make it playful, and find ways to weave it into your language. Weave it into your daily routine. Especially think about when you go, you grab your case and you're like, okay, we're going to go outside. Let's get dressed. Let's put on our winter clothes. So now what you're going to do when you're putting on your winter clothes, you're going to have them identify the things that they need. You're going to have them follow commands. Okay, let's first put on our shoes, then our hat. Two step command right there. Also identifying shoes and hat.


Okay, which pair? Great. One to also offer them the power to choose. Should wear this set of mittens or this set of mittens? Which one do you want to put on first? Even if it's a power struggle, do you want to put on this red mitten first or this red mitten first and let them make that decision. Let them choose. When children have the power to choose, they are so happy because it means that they are seen, they are heard, and they have the power to decide. Especially because in today's world, they can be told where to go, what to do, and everything in between without really making a whole lot of decisions. Anytime that you can offer them the power to choose, that will also help reduce the power struggle. So you know what? Let's find let's down and read.


Where should we read today? You get to choose. Where do you want to read? They might tell you they want to read in the car. And you know what? As long as you make it fun, that's a great thing. Then sit in the car and read the book. Even if it's for five minutes, you're going to make reinforced connections of really positive and exciting things. Maybe we should go to the park and read. Even if you get even if you get five sets of 1 minute. Great. I loved how we spent time reading today and share that with them. You did such a great job turning the pages of the book. Wow. I'm so glad that you chose that book. That was a great choice. You're in charge of making those book decisions from now on. Those were really great decisions.


You're reinforcing to them that they matter. You're reinforcing to them that they chose. You're reinforcing to them that reading is fun. There are so many great things to point out. There another one that just popped up. My toddler has a speech and language delay and becomes really frustrated when they can't explain what they need. How can I help with the frustration part? That's a great component, especially because I'm so glad you asked that. Thank you, parent. When frustration is happening, emotions are running high. What the best thing to do is allow yourself to be completely present. Okay, you tell me and wait. Allow your children to respond. Allow them to find ways to communicate, but also, how are they communicating?


If your little one is communicating by taking your hand and pulling you toward it and you don't want to move, they're showing you that they're trying to communicate, and you're like, no, say this. Go with what they can do and then support it. They're going to lead by saying, okay, I want you to know this, but you can also pace them, oh, okay, let's go see it. Oh, okay, you wanted your juice. And take the time to sit on the floor and be at their level and say, oh, okay, juice. We're going to sit down. We're going to have juice. Especially when there's a delay in language, they're frustrated, and it can be very frustrating for you as the parent, as the guardian.


The best way to control that frustration is to help control your own, is to take that moment, to allow yourself to breathe. Acknowledge that they're frustrated, that it's okay, that you're allowed to be frustrated, and they are allowed to be frustrated, that there will be an end eventually, that frustration will pass. But also give my undivided attention here and now. Even when we're running around, they're feeling that pressure. They're feeling that angst. They're feeling that we got to go. And that's going to add to it. When you can pause, when you can come to their level, when you can manage your own emotional state, it's going to put you, as the parent of the guardian, in control. It's going to give you the power. And their nervous system is actually going to respond effectively to you.


So allow yourself that space of, okay, we're going to sit for five minutes and give yourself that time frame and work through it, or give yourself that time frame of we're going to pause. We're going to come back. Let's stop what we're doing, and quite literally, take both of yourselves out of that situation because that can be very frustrating for everyone. When you can alleviate the pressure, when you can allow that emotional state to calm down, you put yourself back at power. And that is a great thing because when you are in power, you can control in that positive component, you can control both situations. Do I need to practice these strategies I learn in speech therapy for my child throughout the day? Throughout the entire day, I get overwhelmed with trying to remember all the tips.


That's a great component, especially because as a speech language pathologist, we really love sharing information, as you can probably tell. Pick one. If there's one thing that you want to target, choose one and let that be your intention for the day. You don't have to do all of these things all the time, all at once. It's a lot. It's a ton being a parent and a guardian. And it's a ton helping your little one grow and develop. Pick the intention that you want. I want to offer more opportunities for them to speak. How might I offer more opportunities for them to speak during the day. What can I do and how can I help? And let your mind come up with some ways. Go with three, four or five ways and just notice them and find ways to work that in.


So a great thing to do is let's say your little one has delayed speech and they're not effectively wanting to vocalize to you what they want or need. Allow yourself the time to offer the opportunity. So let's say you put a few pieces of banana snack time. You're going to put two pieces of banana on their plate and you're going to sit and you guys are going to have a snack together and they're going to go two piece and then go. That is offering them an opportunity for them to speak. So now if they say nothing, what happened? And you're going to start to hear some voicing typically like and even if they go, you go, uhoh, that's a build, that's an expansion. What do we need?


Or if you're going to do BA BA for banana, engage with them, have them watch your mouth. What we love to do is often draw their attention to our mouth by going BA BA. And as we're doing that, we're drawing their attention. And we're also pointing out, BA BA. We're making a sound. You can even go as far as tapping on their little chin and encouraging them to go BA BA. The movement, the engagement, this is a great thing. You might start to see them go. Great job bringing your lips together. That was so good, I saw you go. We're expressive. We're saying what we're so happy about. We're pointing out what they communicated with. This is a great way to help encourage that support of expressive language.


But in that moment, you offer them the opportunity for them to speak without sitting down and doing these very formal, structured things that we may think that looks like speech therapy. It's allowing that opportunity, it's offering that engagement. Especially if you put them in the tub, break up the routine, put them in the tub, they're going to look at you and go, they're waiting for something else to turn the water on. They're going to try and initiate your attention because they know that something should be happening, but they need you to be doing it. So they're going to have that back and forth. They're going to look at you and they go and you go, uhoh, water. We need water. That sing songy, that expressive, that water. That over exaggerated component. It's a really great way to help them engage and help them understand.


Mommy, daddy. They're making noises. Oh, I can do that, too. Having a mirror, having back and forth, offering those fun ways to keep them engaged, and to keep it curious and engaging and fun, are all phenomenal ways to help have your little one immersed in a loving, language rich environment. I believe those are all the questions for today. If you guys have more questions, please feel free to reach out to us on social media. We're on Facebook, we are on TikTok, we're on Instagram, we're on LinkedIn, all that gloriousness. So if you have questions, please feel free to reach out to us on any of our social media platforms and reach out to us at our website,, where we will do our very best to answer any and all of your questions and offer you more guidance from there.


Thank you all so much for your time. I truly appreciate it. I hope this was informative for you, and I hope you had just as much fun as I did. Till next time. Keep talking. Thank you so much. Bye.


About the Presenter

Lenora Edwards

Lenora Edwards

I am ASHA Board Certified Speech Language Pathologist and Chief Knowledge Officer with Better Speech. Since obtaining my CCC’s in 2010, I have worked with individuals of all ages from little ones who are learning to understand and express themselves to adults who want to improve their speaking skills and become a more fluent and effective communicator. I love to teach and educate others, in my spare time I like reading, cooking and traveling!



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by Patricia D. Myers

I'm not an English native speaker and I wanted to improve my speech. Better Speech onboarding process is AWESOME, I met with different people before being matched with an AMAZING Therapist, Christina. My assigned therapist created a safe place for me to be vulnerable and made all the sessions fun and helpful. Thanks to her, I received great feedback from my clients.

by John L. Wilson

Better Speech is a great program that is easy to use from home and anywhere online. Shannon was amazing at engaging our shy son - and building on their relationship each session! Her commitment to knowing him improved his confidence to speak and practice more. Truly appreciate her dedication. She cares for her clients.

by Christy O. King

Better Speech is an excellent opportunity to improve your speech in the convenience of your home with flexible scheduling options. Our therapist Miss Lynda was nothing short of amazing! We have greatly appreciated and enjoyed the time spent together in speech therapy. Her kind, engaging and entertaining spirit has been well received. She will surely be missed.

by Patricia W. Lopez

This service is so easy, i signed up, got a therapist and got to set up an appointment right away that worked with my schedule. so glad to see that services like speech therapy are finally catching up to the rest of the convenience age! therapy is great, i can't believe how many good tips, exercises and methods in just the first session. really recommend it!

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