I love using music during therapy to improve a child’s ability to say words. Music is a great strategy to improve your child’s language skills….and remember you do not have to be a great singer to use melody, rhythm and music to improve your child’s language skills. Music is on the right side of the brain….and language is on the left….when you tap into both areas of the brain…you are helping your child to try to use her words to communicate….so if I was playing with Mr. Potato Head……I might take the green hat….and put the hat on MPH’s head….and say: Hat on…..being sure to change the pitch and inflection in my voice…putting a little bit of melody to the short phrase….and I would continue to do this as I was playing with MPH. This strategy during play is called: self talk…..be sure to look under the teach me to talk page for more information about self talk.
You can also place some demands on your child by asking her to tell you what she wants….so it might look something like this:
Therapist: Holding the hat in one hand and a nose in the other hand…and then saying: Do you want hat or nose? And as I was saying the sentence….when I say the word hat….I would move the hat closer to the child’s reach…..and when I say the word nose…I again would move the nose closer to the child’s reach.
Child: She may not have language yet to verbally state what she wants…but she is able to point to the desired object….so as she points….say the desired word for her. You are placing a demand on her in the sense that you are requesting her to make a choice…however….if she does not have the language to say the word HAT….she may just point..so your job is to talk for her….so she hears the word that is tied with the object…..so you say it for her (HAT)…model correct pronunciation so that she hears clearly how the word should sound.
Child: Now if she is able to say the word HAT….be sure to expand her verbalization….by saying something like: “Green Hat“…….or as she is putting the hat on MPH…..say: “Hat ON.‘ Remember again to use melody in your speech to help your little one to say the word.
And remember to have fun with your little one or big one…