There are several things you can do to work with your child, depending on your child’s age and his challenges. You should consult your speech pathologist for information that is more specific for your child, however here are some general suggestions, based on age levels.

These guidelines were adopted from

Birth to 12 months

• Check your child’s ability to hear, and pay attention to ear problems and infections, especially when they keep occurring.
• Reinforce your baby’s communication attempts by looking at him or her, speaking, and imitating his or her vocalizations.
• Repeat his or her laughter and facial expressions.
• Teach your baby to imitate actions, such as peekaboo, clapping, blowing kisses, pat-a-cake, itsy bitsy spider, and waving bye-bye. These games teach turn taking that is needed for conversation.
• Talk while you are doing things, such as dressing, bathing, and feeding (e.g., “Mommy is washing Sam’s hair”; “Sam is eating carrots”; “Oh, these carrots are good!”).
• Talk about where you are going, what you will do once you get there, and who and what you’ll see (e.g., “Sam is going to Grandma’s house. Grandma has a dog. Sam will pet the dog.”).
• Talk about colors (e.g., “Sam’s hat is red”).
• Practice counting. Count toes and fingers.
• Count steps as you go up and down them.
• Teach animal sounds (e.g., “A cow says ‘moo'”)

1 to 3 Years

• Talk while doing things and going places. When taking a walk in the stroller, for example, point to familiar objects (e.g., cars, trees, and birds) and say their names. “I see a dog. The dog says ‘woof.’ This is a big dog. This dog is brown.”
• Use simple but grammatical speech that is easy for your child to imitate.
• Take a sound walk around your house or in the baby’s room. Introduce him/her to Timmy Clock, who says “t-t-t-t.” Listen to the clock as it ticks. Find Mad Kitty Cat who bites her lip and says “f-f-f-f” or Vinnie Airplane who bites his lip, turns his voice motor on and says “v-v-v-v.” These sounds will be old friends when your child is introduced to phonics in preschool and kindergarten.
• Make bath time “sound playtime” as well. You are eye-level with your child. Play with Peter Tugboat, who says “p-p-p-p.” Let your child feel the air of sounds as you make them. Blow bubbles and make the sound “b-b-b-b.” Feel the motor in your throat on this sound. Engines on toys can make a wonderful “rrr-rrr-rrr” sound.
• Expand on words. For example, if your child says “car,” you respond by saying, “You’re right! That is a big red car.”
• Continue to find time to read to your child every day. Try to find books with large pictures and one or two words or a simple phrase or sentence on each page. When reading to your child, take time to name and describe the pictures on each page.
• Expand on your child’s vocabulary. Introduce new vocabulary through reading books that have a simple sentence on each page.
• Put objects into a bucket and have your child remove one object at a time, saying its name. You repeat what your child says and expand upon it: “That is a comb. Sam combs his hair.” Take the objects from the bucket and help your child group them into categories (e.g., clothes, food, drawing tools).
• Ask your child questions that require a choice, rather than simply a “yes” or “no” answer. For example, rather than asking, “Do you want milk? Do you want water?”, ask, “Would you like a glass of milk or water?” Be sure to wait for the answer, and reinforce successful communication: “Thank you for telling mommy what you want. Mommy will get you a glass of milk.”
• Look at family photos and name the people. Use simple phrases/sentences to describe what is happening in the pictures (e.g., “Sam swims in the pool”).

4 to 7 Years

• Talk with your child frequently
• Read a variety of books; read often and talk with your child about the story
• Help your child focus on sound patterns of words such as those found in rhyming games
• Have your child retell stories and talk about events of the day
• Talk with your child during daily activities; give directions for your child to follow (e.g., making cookies)
• Talk about how things are alike and different
• Give your child reasons and opportunities to write

8 to 12 Years

• Continue to encourage reading; find reading material that is of interest to your child
• Encourage your child to form opinions about what he or she hears or reads and relate what is read to experiences
• Help your child make connections between what is read and heard at school, at home, and in other daily activities
• Talk aloud as you help your child understand and solve problems encountered in reading material
• Help your child recognize spelling patterns, such as beginnings and endings of words (e.g., pre- or -ment)
• Encourage your child to write letters, keep a diary, or write stories