Targeting Speech & Language at Home
Use Your Child’s Books
Books are often a common gift that children receive as babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Books come in all shapes and sizes and can open up a child’s eyes to many new topics, ideas, and avenues during their development. Did you know that many of the books you have at home can be used to target your child’s speech and language skills?
A book can be used to target a child’s expressive, receptive, and pragmatic language skills. Goal areas may include: answering “wh” questions, labeling objects in pictures, following 1-2 step directions, solving a social scenario, identifying object function, answering yes/no questions, speech sounds in words, phrases, and sentences, formulating a grammatically correct sentence, identifying letters or numbers, using pronouns, generating –ing verbs, naming categories, identifying emotions, or understanding modified nouns. As you may see from this list the number of topics that can be targeted with a book are limitless!
You may be thinking how can I target these skills at home?
Tips and Tricks for targeting speech and language at home with books
1. Give your child a choice of 2-3 books (this way it is their choice but you can also choose books that can easily target their goals)
2. Choose 1-2 goal areas to focus on while reading the book
3. Ask 1-2 questions per page to increase engagement and interaction during the story
4. If you have an older child with articulation goals you can ask “Can you find me a word with your sound in it?”
5. If your child is a reader take turns reading each page with them and have them generate questions to ask you about the story
6. While reading the story you target following directions by asking “Can you show me the blue car?” or “Can you touch the duck and then the pig?”
7. To target –ing verbs ask your child “What is the fish doing?” and then begin their answer with “He is…” and pause for them to fill in the present progressive verb
8. For any skill that your child is having difficulty with modeling while reading is always recommended to help your child hear and learn to comprehend each new skill
Your child’s therapist can recommend strategies and modifications that can be implemented at home while reading with your child. Reading with you child can target their goals during their daily routine to increase progress and understanding of each new skill.