How can I help at home?
As a parent, you know your child best and are with them consistently. You are key to supporting their speech, language and communication. There are lots of strategies and activities you can put into place at home to support their speech, language and communication development.
If your child has had an assessment, you may have had the opportunity to set some goals for your child and been given some advice from the speech and language therapy team on how to support your child’s speech, language and communication or eating, drinking and swallowing skills. If you need more support with this contact the team directly.
If you need more general strategies and activities to develop speech, language and communication, we have some useful website links where you can find lots of great ideas and suggestions for home, based on your child’s age and level of development.
When planning activities or putting strategies into place for your child or young person, consider the following:
- Focus on their interests and what motivates them to communicate
- Choose a time when your child is ready to communicate and when you can give them your full attention
- Don’t rush or take over – give your child time to think, process their ideas and respond
- Show them you’re enjoying communicating with them and offer lots of praise and encouragement
- Our top tips video: shares more information on early language development and how you can support your child.
- Practical strategies to support young children who stammer video: for information if you have concerns about your child stammering.
- Introduction to eating, drinking and swallowing video: for information about how our eating, drinking and swallowing team can support you.
- Useful websites: for further information and advice about a range of speech, language and communication needs.
I’m still worried about my child’s speech language and communication or eating, drinking and swallowing skills, what can I do?
If you have ongoing concerns about your child’s progress with these skills, please discuss this with professionals that know your child (e.g. their health visitor, school nurse, early years teaching professionals, GP, etc.) in the first instance.
They will have a wealth of knowledge and experience about speech language and communication development to share. They may help you decide if a referral to the service is needed and offer advice to support your child at home.
If you wish to refer your child for speech and language therapy assessment, have a look at our information on making a referral.