When you think of your young child, you probably think of them spending their time playing, giggling, and learning new things every day. These early childhood years can fly by too quickly, so it’s important to savor this time for both of you. Early childhood is a critical part of each individual’s development, especially in learning language and communication skills.
Language development delays and disorders represent a deficit in receptive language. These speech delays can hinder the communication path necessary for a child to flourish in academic, social, and other settings. In this guide, we will teach you how verbal routines can help children increase their language development and skills so you know when to intervene with speech therapy.
What Are Verbal Routines?
Infant children are learning the foundation of language from their parents and caregivers, and as they develop their language skills more, the child will begin to direct their own speech. Verbal routines are not only a way to improve language but an introduction to speaking. These routines are defined by verbalizing ordinary actions to your child. This will help them connect those words and actions.
Verbal routine practice can start during early infancy and continue through the toddler years or more as the child’s language development matures. This speech therapy technique is an excellent way to introduce language and repetition in the home.
How to Incorporate Verbal Routines for Improved Speech Therapy
The goal of creating a verbal routine is to help children connect the verbal to visual through vocalization as a way to improve their understanding of language. You can start with a slow introduction or dive right in, but these verbal routines will eventually become a part of your child’s daily routine.
Here are some everyday examples of verbal routines for language development that you can begin to introduce at home:
- Waking up: “Good morning” or “Rise and shine.”
- Playtime: “Let’s go play.”
- Bedtime: “It’s time for bed, goodnight.”
- Meals: “It’s time for lunch.”
It won’t take long for your child to connect the words with the action that comes next, which can cause them to run and hide during bedtime or show excitement during playtime. Through consistency, repetition, and practice, your child will increase their language development skills. Check out more ways to help your child learn to talk and include language into your child’s daily routines.
The Importance of Repetition and Consistency in Verbal Routines
Verbal repetition will help children to remember language better. Just like when reading or singing along to a nursery rhyme, children will eventually catch on because of the constant exposure.
By staying consistent and actively using verbal routines, your child will have greater exposure to vocalized communication and begin to form the correlation between words and their meanings or actions. Consider adding the speech therapy technique of verbal routine into your everyday communication with your child and watch how quickly they pick up on your vocal cues.
Spotting Signs of Speech Delays and Disorders
Introducing verbal routines into a child’s everyday life is just one way to improve language development, but the foundation of language can be harder for children to learn based on their own speech delays or even disorders. Spotting the signs of these delays can be hard, especially during infancy.
Some ways to spot speech delays is to look out for these signs:
- The child is missing developmental milestones.
- Mispronouncing certain sounds.
- Lack of vocalization, fallback to non-verbal communication
When in doubt, talk to your child’s pediatrician about your concerns. With all developmental delays, including speech delays, early intervention is the key to counteracting these issues and other developmental delays. Learn how to spot the red flags for common childhood developmental delays.
Tips for Parents to Introduce Verbal Routines
Narrating your child’s everyday tasks may take some time to get used to. The best way to get in the habit of exclaiming specific phrases is to start with your own routines as well, even if it’s just thinking of the phrase internally to start.
Assign concise, short phrases to each daily task. Before you know it, exclaiming these phrases before a routine will become second nature to you and, eventually, your child too.
When to Seek Speech Therapy
Verbal routines and other language development exercises are an excellent way to begin training your child at home. Still, they can learn new, more focused language development skills in speech therapy. Speech delays could be preventing your child from developing their language and communication skills or be the sign of a more serious underlying issue such as an impairment or disorder. If you have any concerns about your child’s speech, talk to your doctor about intervening with speech therapy.
If you are concerned that your child may have any speech delays or disorders, it may be time to seek a speech therapist’s expertise. In speech therapy, your child will have access to professionals that can assess, diagnose, and treat delays and disorders related to speech, language, or other forms of communication.
Sometimes, speech delays and language development issues can correct themselves over time, but developmental delays should not be taken lightly. Early speech therapy intervention can be the breakthrough your child needs to be a better communicator at home and when socializing with other children, especially as they move into an academic classroom setting.
Autism Disorder and Developmental Delays
Speech delays or disorders can be a symptom of an underlying disorder. If you have a child with autism disorder, a doctor or therapist can also recommend Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy to make sure other areas of necessary child development are treated as well. In some instances, ABA therapy may be combined with speech therapy and/or occupational therapy, depending on each patient’s individual needs.
An ABA therapist can help get your child on a program that is catered to them. They will also help those children and their families by understanding the connection between this disorder and stress and how to manage these stressors effectively.
Speech Therapy Near You
The speech-language pathologists at Blossom Behavioral Wellness Center are state-licensed and board-certified to assist your child with any speech delays or language development issues they may encounter. Our office is centrally located in Novi to serve Southeast Michigan families with a variety of service offerings.
Whether its questions about introducing verbal routines, concerns over your child’s speech development, or anything in between, we are just a call away!