Suggestions for Stimulating Oral Language Development in Young Hearing-impaired Children

(based on Leonard, 1992)

Follow your child's lead. Talk about what he/she is doing using single words or short phrases.

Speak slightly slower and a little louder than normal.

Sit face-to-face while playing and talking.

Hold objects and toys near your mouth to increase awareness of mouth movements and speechreading cues.

Talk about what you are doing while you are doing it.

Think out-loud. Let your child hear your thought processes.

Be aware of "overtalking." Leave enough silence for your child to think about and respond to what has been said.

Look for opportunities to emphasize new vocabulary and stimulate language throughout the day.

Use open-ended questions (e.g., "What do you want to play?") or choice questions (e.g., "Do you want to play with the blocks or the cars?") more often than Yes/No questions (e.g., "Do you want the cars?").

Introduce new words, short poems, fingerplays, and songs often.

Make looking at books and reading stories part of your daily routine.

Help your child learn that language is powerful by responding to vocalizations in a meaningful way.

Remember to have fun with language!

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