Tip of the Day!


My Katie can talk…..and talk…and talk….and talk….she has so much to say and share with us…..one day of few months ago……we joked with her and asked if it was possible for her to NOT talk for five minutes…we put the timer on….and I think she was about to explode at the end of the five minutes….and in fact she did………she just bursted out laughing and talking…..talking….and talking some more.

For the parent of a child that has an expressive language delay…that is just what they want…they want to hear their child communicating…using words to obtain their wants and needs…..and the eventual need to put the timer on….taking a break from the incessant talking.

Parents often think that the way to help their expressive language delayed child talk it to ask questions:

What is that? What do you have? What are you doing? What do you want? What are you doing now? What is mommy doing? You want juice? Say juice?  What did you do at school? What are you doing outside with your brother?

Oh boy!….so many questions for your little one…………..well……………believe it or not one of the strategies we use to help little ones talk is to ask less questions and do more of the talking….be a good language role model for your little one….describe what you are doing during play, while cooking, while bathing your child or dressing her……ask less questions about her day…..and tell her one thing that you did during your day….see if that prompts her to share with you about her day…..at the dinner table talk about your favorite part of your day (inspired by my nephew Harry and his family…my Gregory loves that they share their favorite part of their day at dinner….so we have adopted that custom…..so thank you AW!)……use your language to describe what your child is doing during play……describe what you see in a picture book rather than asking your language delayed child what she sees…..look at photo albums and name the people in the photo album….take a  walk outside or at the park…..and talk about what you see…. say things such as: I see the bird……I see the swing….I see the puppy….see if this prompts your little one to use the same phrase…..however…she uses her language and finishes the phrase with something she sees: I see the ice-cream truck!

Using your language to describe her world will her help to eventually communicate on her own….asking less questions takes away some of the language demands and pressures that we sometimes place upon the language impaired child.

And most importantly:


If she can’t say the word juice just yet….no matter how many times you say: Say juice if you want juice…she is NOT going to say it……I learned a great phrase from the amazing Dr. Ross Greene…..”kids do well if they can“.  I apply that to the language delayed child too….a language delayed child will use the word if she can.

I often make the following correlation: if I wanted a cup of coffee…..and I only was able to get it if I said the word coffee in Mandarin…..well for me….most likely I would not be getting that cup of coffee…..so for the language impaired child….remember…..”kids do well if they can”.  They will use verbal language when the word is in their vocabulary…..

So in the meantime…..ask less questions….and do more talking!

Have fun with your little one or big one!





vox guitars at gc

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 resource....so 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
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2 Responses to Tip of the Day!

  1. Helen Wagner says:

    Thanks for this reminder of the expectations we sometimes make!

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