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Infants » Communication

Indirect Language Stimulation Techniques

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(Sources used include: Your Child’s Speech and Language; Teach Your Child to Talk; and Headstart Speech Language and Hearing Program)

Self Talk: Describe out loud to your child what you are seeing, hearing, doing as you do it e.g.; “wash the dish, dry the spoon, I put the plate away.” Use short, simple sentences and let your child know there are words to describe all sorts of activities and feelings. Give him words for what he sees you doing.

Parallel Talk (child-centered): Describe out loud to your child what he is seeing, hearing, thinking, and doing as he does it, e.g.: “You’re throwing the ball, in goes the car, Johnny has a rock, push the bike, you’re pushing the bike.” Give him words to describe the action he does or the thing he sees

Description (object centered): A labeling or explaining phrase or statement, e.g.: “that’s a big ball, there’s mommy, that dog is a poodle, it’s hot, the pillow is soft, the water is cold, there’s a fire truck.” Use adjectives such as textures, shapes, sizes, colors, ect. Describe where and what it does (i.e. – it goes up).

Repetition (Imitation): Repeat exactly what your child says, but use correct articulation. For example, that child says “widdle wed wabbit” and you say, “little red rabbit.”

Repetition With Reinforcement: Repeat your child’s utterance and add a verbal reinforcer. For example, “little red rabbit, good!”

Expansion: Repeat your child’s “baby sentences” the way an adult would have said them. This shows him you understand and at the same time gives him a good model. You are revising and completing the child’s speech. For example, the child says, “doggy run” and you “yes, the dog is running.”

Ask Dr. Susan