View Full Version : What can I do to promote more talking?

05-12-2011, 01:23 PM
One of my mindee is about to turn two, he is also the youngest of three children. Only have him for two mornings a week, but have built up a strong bond. When he first came he pointed at everything that he wanted and would not talk. Only likes anything to do with 'balls', very happy to say this word, but not really interested in any activities I offer to promote talking, and especially singing, when he looks at me as if I have gone right round the twist. My goodness. I've even tried singing with the guitar to see if I can get him to join in :eek:
Brings a football to the setting most days, despite mum saying 'we don't kick the ball in the house', WELL DON'T BRING IT WITH YOU THEN!!!'
He is a very good little footballer, but everything else can be rather a struggle, especially when attempting new activities.

At toddler group, when they sit down at the end to have a sing-song, it's as much as I can do to keep him sitting on my lap. He will sometimes sit down and read a story, but rarely. When I asked mum if she shared books at home, she replied 'Oh well we don't really have time'. 'Not even at bedtime I ask?'

Please does anyone have ideas for getting him to talk. Mum does say that his language is improving, which I sort of think it is, but his vocabulary range seems to me to be very limited especially when I compare him against my own two children at that age. As mum told me when he first came, he points and his elder siblings fetch what he wants, so he has lost the ability to use his voice so to speak.

miss mopple
05-12-2011, 01:30 PM
Offer lots of choices - 'would you like the red or blue plate today'. When asking questions try to avoid ones that require a simple yes or no answer. It's important not to correct words if he gets them wrong but to model the correct word instead :thumbsup:

Lots of stories and singing- even if he doesnt join in he will be soaking up the language. I have a little boy who had speech delay but was like a sponge. All of a sudden the flood gates have opened and he doesn't stop! Perseverance and patience are key. Don't let him know it's an issue or he will get stressed about talking, which will obviously make things worse.

Have you considered makaton? Its a great way to take the pressure off the child where speech development is concerned and can be really helpful.

Hope that helps a bit x

05-12-2011, 01:51 PM
Thanks for all those great ideas. I don't think he's speech delayed, it due to his siblings doing everything for him, so it's delayed something. Put simply, it could have just made him lazy, relying on other people to provide things and make the decisions. If I verbalise everything, including asking him to choose activities that should impress his mum as well, especially if I can offer constructive advice for things to do at home with him.

05-12-2011, 02:05 PM
as Mrs M says - offer lots of choices where he has to talk - even if its not particuarly discernable - so long as he has communicated thats great and you then model the very simple language. 'blue plate for Joe'

don't respond to the pointing, grunting etc. once all the basic needs have been met ie - you have fed and watered the child then anything after that ie a biscuit needs to be communicated - bic bic, ta, please etc.

if he is interested in the ball(s) then LOTS of activities centered around balls - stick some pictures on the balls say of animals and let him pick favourite animals saying the names, or match the noise to the animal perhaps.

give the child a chance and time to talk - sounds daft I know but an easy one to overlook

books, rhymes, actions, beat

check the ICan website
ECaT information etc

The Juggler
05-12-2011, 02:17 PM
i would say take all the pressure off him hon (not that I mean you are putting pressure on I just mean take the lead). when he points give him the words (and sign) that he wants. He may eventually follow your lead or maybe not but something to keep an eye on and maybe speak to mum about when he is a little older.

Lots of songtime, lots of books around, talking to him and smallworld and role play. Its amazing how young children who don't talk much will speak to dollies or narrate their smallworld characters :)

06-12-2011, 07:58 AM
How about using puppets/story sacks to encourage a love of books too?

christine e
06-12-2011, 08:01 AM
agree with everything others of said but just wanted to add try voice changer and microphone, I had a reluctant talker and he loved hearing his own voice this way


06-12-2011, 08:06 AM
we use animals sounds and stories

06-12-2011, 08:21 AM
I have a 2.2 year old starting with me on Monday and he doesn't say a word! He says 'Uh-Oh!' a lot which is really sweet and endearing however nothing else. He's very quiet. He doesn't even point to things that he wants. On his settling in session I gave him some lunch here and he just sat there looking at it until I fed it to him. I think I might have to check with his Mum if he uses a fork or spoon at all at home - as they are of Asian background - perhaps he is wondering where the chopsticks are! I wish he was here for more than one day a week as I don't think I will such much of an impact on just a single day but I will do what I can do to help him :)

He seems very young for his age. He doesn't have a dummy but he -does- still have a bottle that he walks around with. I think I might ask his Mum not to bring a bottle here and I will give him his milk out of a cup instead.

I think I too will go for a lot of choices to encourage him to speak. At the moment there isn't even anything to correct. Should be interesting!

06-12-2011, 08:35 AM
I'd say it was probably normal - and given the older siblings there is no urgency to learn words. But he is probably an excellant communicator - getting all his basic needs met and more advanced needs at times - just by using non verbal communication and basic noises which mke complete sense to his family unit.

Use lots of words around him - converse with him, name things, lots of choices, read with him - find a book with balls in it - make up your own books with this child playing with balls, pictures and words that he can look at with you and get excited by seeing himself in a book.

Remember this stage of development is child specific - so try to avoid comparing to other children - he is unique and he will develop at his own speed. He wil try out wors at his own speed as his confidence increases. When he does continue as if its the most normal thing in the world.

06-12-2011, 05:55 PM
google rebecca bergmann, stories for talking

its pretty good!

06-12-2011, 06:15 PM
Do you have other children at the same time? If so you could look at the work of Elizabeth Jarman on Communication Friendly Spaces :D

07-12-2011, 06:13 PM
Great, thanks Sarah & Donkey

07-12-2011, 06:53 PM
I have a lo who will not sit still for stories or songs, I have continued with them anyway so reading to myself when he goes fof to play with something else etc :rolleyes: ...anyhow all of a sudden he has started to repeat stuff in the stories or sing the songs I have sung for a year with no apparent interest.....I think he has just taken his time to be interested and also I have noticed he only likes things he is familiar with so it has been worth persevering with. Let us know how you get on I would be interested in anything you think has worked