Focusing on Speech

Hearing your child’s first words is a joy for every parent. it doesn’t matter how many children you have, each time is new and exciting. What happens when that moment isn’t coming? When you suspect that your child might have a speech delay?
Each region has different resources, but in most areas like with any specialist, there is a wait. So what now? How do you encourage your child to speak, or help improving the quality of the speech they do have?
We have been through speech therapy twice now, and are receiving some for Little C right now. It is very difficult when your little one isn’t talking, but there are things you can do to help.

Have them drink from a straw
I wish I had known this one! Little S’s therapist let me know about this one. When you use a straw, you are using the same muscles that are used in speech. Developing these muscles assists in the easy formation of words. Whether your child is just learning to drink a sippy cup, or already in school, a straw can help. 
There are many straw cup options for kids of all ages. The earlier they start, the greater the benefit. 
Use Baby Sign Language

Yes, believe it or not this helps speech. Not only does signing help prevent frustration in babies, and help you comunicate with your child at an earlier age, many studies show children who sign speak earlier, and have a bigger vocabulary than children using speech alone. In our family I noticed an incredible difference when I introduced signs to my children.

Play the “Echo” Game
When your baby or toddler babbles, repeat what the “say” back to them. This teaches them about conversation, and about turn taking. Repeat them a few times, and try using similar sounds back to them encouraging them to echo you. The more they enjoy it, the more likely they are to “echo” you. Gradually increase the difficulty moving from vowel sounds, to consonants, and finally words.

Name the Objects Around
The best thing you can do to help your child is model speech for them. Name objects, show them what speech is for, even with your infants.

These are only a few things, but it is amazing how much these few things can help! 


  1. Thank you for the tips. My best friend’s son did not speak before age 4. Thankfully our county offers good intervention and started sending a speech therapist to the home twice a week starting at age 2 1/2. They taught him signs and he started to communicate. The straw trick is genious – WHO KNEW!

  2. Thank you so much I was very fortunate that my kids didn’t have a speech problem but my nieces little one is and I will share this article with her.

  3. these re really great tips and advice for the chils so you can see when he/she is learning how to talk

  4. What Great Ideas

  5. These are great tips! I’ve been using sign language with my little man for over a year but he’s wandered from it for grunts. He’s been drinking from a straw for almost a year now and will turn 2 in August. Would love for him to start saying words soon.

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