My Quiet Toddler: Supporting Your Child’s Language Development

As parents, we obsess about whether or not our child is meeting milestones. I’m a first time mom and my son just turned 19 months old, which means we’re almost at that “2 year mark”. I’m also a constant worrier and right now what’s heavy on my mind is my little boy’s language development.

Every parent has their own worries, and my little boy’s language development is mine. When something is heavy on my mind I resort to resources to conquer that “worried feeling”. So far the library has been a huge help. I’ve also found some great videos while researching (I share them with you below)! I guess knowing that I’m doing all that I can helps me to come to terms with the worry. This is my guide on how I’m seeking language development resources and strategies before stepping into any interventions. 

I know my little boy is soaking everything in. He’s very intuitive and this mama is stepping up to the plate with resources… sorry kid. 😉 

Let me get something off my chest before jumping into the resources and strategies. It’s tough being parents nowadays. (I’m feeling so many heads nodding already.) The demands, checklists, and the amount of things we know through research is overwhelming. I realize that we have benefited from “knowing more” (knowledge is power) in this age, but it definitely has my mind racing. While you don’t want to compare your child to others, we can’t help but do it. I’m pretty sure that’s just human nature.

As I mentioned, my son is 19 months old and while he probably speaks a total of 10 words, it’s concerning to see other children his age speaking way more. I will say though, I believe his little mind is more focused on his gross and fine motor skills – such as jumping! He does this all the time, all day…everyday! I’m looking at what I’m doing as giving him an “extra boost” so that we can prevent any speech/ language delays. As a mom I want to know I’m doing all that I can first

When I started looking around for creditable information about language development in children, I turned to the CDC’s Milestones for 2 years, and a blog about speech and language for kids, specifically focused on 2 Year Old Speech and Language Skills. 

So, if you’re in the same boat as me and need guidance or support you may want to start here! 

I have been engaging him in story time, playgroups, reading time, circle time, songs, and so much more! There are so many resources out there that promote language development! One thing I have come to conclusion with is I need to be more consistent. Life gets busy and there are weeks where our schedule is way “out of whack”, and the guilty mom feelings step in. Setting aside even just a few minutes in the day as more structured “learning time” will help. 

Recently we attended story time at the library (we love Mr. Bill as our teacher!) and we were given handouts specifically targeting literacy and language development.

Resources & Strategies

source 

These are great videos that I have found to be helpful! 

Engaging in adult supervised play is so important for toddlers! The interaction with language as a focus is one of the best ways to encourage communicating! 

My son is a very busy boy, and while he does enjoy looking at books, it’s extremely difficult for him to just sit and read them. This speech therapist takes you through wonderful pointers on how to engage more in a reading. I love her statement about “It’s not what type of book you read, but how the reader engages the child.” 

 

I hope you found these helpful! Share with me any other tips you have to promote language development with toddlers! 

 

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2 Responses to My Quiet Toddler: Supporting Your Child’s Language Development

  1. Jessica August 23, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    I’m the mother of a late talker as well. My little guy is 3 years old and is slowly progressing in his language. It can be very difficult and lonely thing to go through bc it’s impossible for others to truly understand what you are going through unless they’ve been therethemselves. You are not alone though! There are some great parent support groups on Facebook. Also, a great book that was recommended to me by an SLP we’ve consulted with from Nashville is Play to Talk by James McDonald. He also has some videos on youTube that are helpful. Another good book is Late Talking Children: A Symptom or a Stage by Stephen Camarata. Dr. Camarata is an expert in late talking children, was a late talker himself, and he a child that was a late talker. He works for and does research for Vanderbilt University. If you do decide to seek an evaluation, His wife also runs a consulting firm called Late Talkers Consulting (latetalkersconsulting.com) She is extremely helpful and reassuring to talk to! She does phone and video consultations, but we made the decision to visit her in Nashville for a full evaluation and it was the best decision we ever made! Prior we had been to many three different SLPs all with differing opinions and strategies and one that even suggested ASD although my son absolutely is not. Mary was the first professional that seemed to really understand the full picture of what was going on with our son and everything she said about him actually made sense. Since she has worked with us and our local SLP to make sure we are providing the right kind of therapy for him. My biggest piece of advice for you though is to try not get too wrapped up in your worry and just enjoy your son where he is right now. Have fun with him and play with him lots! This is time that you will never get back and so many moms of Late talkers that are now older often say how much they regret all the time they lost having fun with their child bc of the worry.

    • Amanda
      Amanda August 23, 2017 at 3:26 pm #

      Wow, thanks for the very informative information, Jessica! It definitely is hard not to worry about it all the time (especially when it’s your first child). I’m trying to make it my goal to just relax more and focus on having fun playing with him.It’s good to know there are so many supportive groups out there! I just put those book suggestions on my list! Thank you!

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