How to teach your child first and last? (in reference to first name and last name)

This question below is from my FB…and the mama was nice enough to allow her question and my answer…hope this is helpful….she starts off her question…..commenting that her son’s speech therapist has been working on spatial concepts…in reference to the post I wrote just below this one……



This is what they are working on with my son. I have seen his speech therapist and him work on drills and thought they were not helpful, but when they actually do what they are talking about he picks up on the concept quickly. Some parts …of these concepts though are not as action oriented and he is really struggling. Example – he understands first and last in line but he has a heck of a time with first and last name, though he gets those fine until we throw in middle name and then everything goes a whacky. Any ideas?


Hmmmmm….it sounds like you are saying that he does understand first and last in reference to his first and last name..however..when his middle name pops in…he does not understand….my thoughts… i would write his name on three pieces …of paper. for example…i will use my name: Kimberly Ann Marino. So Kimberly would be on one piece of paper…Ann on the next and Marino on the last. Maybe use index cards. Start off with him just reading the cards….and ask him to put them in order…I am thinking that the visual is what will help him to understand the concepts of first and last. As he is placing them in order…i would say: as he puts the card (kimberly) on the table….you say”first”….and then as he puts the middle name down: you should say “middle” … you also could say next instead of middle …however…since this is in reference to his middle name…i would stick with middle….and talk about the fact that his middle name is in the middle of his first name and his last name…kinda like his middle name is being hugged by his first and last name….then as he puts his last name down…(Marino)….i would say “last”… as he is looking at the three parts to his name…i would say: show me first? if he can’t do it…you point….show me middle…if he can’t do it….you point…show me last……if he can’t do it… do it…NOW….ask him while looking at the names to tell you…so you want him to verbally answer the question. So say: tell me your first name…and work through the first, middle and last name. Now….take the visuals away…so you are fading out the prompts and see if he can answer the question: What is your first name? What is your middle name? What is your last name? You may have to go back to using the prompts as needed….i hope this was helpful. English is a complex language and children can be easily confused by the complexity of English….let me know if this was helpful. Kim

About Kim

My name is Kim Marino and I have been practicing as a licensed speech and language pathologist since 1993. I work on Long Island providing diagnostic evaluations and services to children from birth to age 21. My experience is vast and am proud to say that I work with children that may present with articulation and phonological concerns, oral motor feeding concerns, Down Syndrome feeding, cognitive rehabilitation, auditory processing delays, receptive language delays, cleft palate feeding and sound development and expressive language delays. Most importantly, I am the mother of four amazing children and am happily married to my childhood sweetheart. I feel blessed to have my four children and so lucky to share this journey in life with my husband. I always had it somewhere in my head that I wanted to develop a blog or a website of some sort so that I could provide families with an additional that parents could help their little ones become a better communicator. And as I was developing this blog....I realized that I also needed to share the stories about my life and my children....and the funny things along the way that help to keep me smiling. Whether you are a working mother or not...finding balance between home, children and life can be a challenge....I hope that my blog helps to bring a smile to your face..and also some tools to help you help your little or big one. I hope you enjoy! Kim
This entry was posted in Questions and Answers, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.