Encouraging A Child To Speak


My husband would say that I am highly qualified to encourage a child to talk; as I never stop! Even having suffering a massive stroke didn’t stop me, much to his disappointment! When I was in hospital he told me he thought he had gone deaf! When I was growing up my dad would tell people that I was vaccinated with a gramophone needle!

Other than attending a work shop on the subject, I have no formal qualifications this topic; only my personal experience.

In my opinion the more you talk to your child/baby, the better communicators they will be; as that is how they learn, by imitating us.

Despite me doing this with my own children,;they were all slow to talk (maybe because they never got the chance as I talked too much!) Seriously though, I think their problems were genetic; My sister was also delayed in her speach and required speach therapy. She used to call me “Ga Ga” I would say to her my name is “Karen” I would try to help her to say my name properly by braking it down “Say Ka” I would tell her; she would repeat it, then I would tell her “say ren” again she repeated it. “Now put it together and say Karen” ….” Ga Ga” she would say!

My eldest son didn’t say a lot when he was younger; but he eventually developed his own ‘language’ that only I as his Mummy could understand. For example; if he wanted a biscuit, he would say “Mum, Mum.” and he made up his own words for certain colours. This concerned me; as his 3rd birthday was approaching and he was soon to start pre-school. I mentioned my worry to my health visitor and she said she would put his name on the list to be assessed for speach therapy. The list must have been a long one, because almost a year later nothing had been done. I kept phoning her and eventually he was seen. He went for a few sessions, and he really enjoyed them. The results were amazing; he went from hardly saying anything, to non stop chatting in a few months!

My second son wasn’t quite so slow to talk, but I recall him saying “no man” (for snowman) and “poon” (for spoon) I spoke to my younger son’s speach therapist about this and she suggested getting him to say “SS…Sammy the snake says… SS” before saying these words. That really did the trick.

My third son also had his own language; referring to his siblings as “Nangnie” (Jamie) “Nangnang” (Damon) and “Nee” (Leigh) “Annie” was orange juice and “Aggie” was a boy called Alex (who I was childminding) He also had difficulty sounding “Th.”, we came up with the idea of getting him to put his top teeth over his bottom lip while looking in a mirror (like bugs bunny) before trying to sound “Th.” again. This worked very well.

I have also looked after several children (mostly boys) with delayed speech. I think their parents chose me as their childminder because I could understand them more than most. One child once told my NVQ Assessor that “Karn” (Karen) is an “oink oink” (pig!) I realised; and quickly explained that what he was trying to tell her was that we had recently been to a farm where they had pigs!

If you are at all worried about your child’s ability to talk; speak to your Health Visitor, or GP as in my oppinion; a speach therapist can achieve marvalous results.

As always, questions or comments are very welcome.

12 Comments on “Encouraging A Child To Speak

  1. Its funny how children all develop at different rates, some faster at some things than others. I have a real chatterbox on my hands,she would rather chat than watch TV /or play on her tablet – which l think is a great thing. We always sit together at meal times and talk about the sort of day we have had etc. Think it puts them in good stead for later in life when we all need to be able to communicate with all sorts of people in different situations..

  2. More years ago than I’d like to admit to two of my girls needed help with their talking . My middle daughter was three before she actually talk. She then ended up getting ten “o levels” At that time I had to really push to get speech therapy before they started school. I think my problem was our eldest daughter never stopped talking and talked for them . It’s a common problem it seems

  3. Our son is 3 and 3 months and with a considerable speech delay. We actually bit the bullet and went private with speech therapy because we’ve been on the NHS list for nearly 6 months and nothing is happening. The progress has been incredible and I would recommend it to anyone struggling with speech delays, with or without associated developmental issues like ASD.

    1. Our son is 3 and 3 months and with a considerable speech delay. We actually bit the bullet and went private with speech therapy because we’ve been on the NHS list for nearly 6 months and nothing is happening. The progress has been incredible and I would recommend it to anyone struggling with speech delays, with or without associated developmental issues like ASD. #brilliantblogposts

  4. Very interesting post. I was actually very slow to talk, I developed a language that only my brother could interpret. There is 2yrs between us but I relied heavily on him until I went to school, and was forced to talk for my myself. Turned out I was just lazy and actually at the right level of speech for my age.

    Our daughter is 18 months and her speech is really quite advanced in comparison with some of my friends children who are older to her. We talk constantly to her and have always encouraged her to talk. This seems to have worked quite well for us but as you point out every child is different. #brilliantblogpost

  5. Have a chatterbox at Home. Yes, i encourage him to speak but even gets a complaint from his preschool about his non-stop talking. He he yet its fun. #familyfun

  6. This is an important subject that concerns many parents/carers. I agree Karen the more you talk to your children can help their language development and speak to a professional if you are concerned. Eye contact, talking slower and good pronunciation may improve language development. In my experience speech can settle down by 5 years of age without intervention. A helpful post thank you!

  7. I was worried about my daughters speech so I spoke to my health visitor about it. She said she wasnt overly concerned as she was young but gave me a list of drop in speech therapy sessions at some of the local childrens centres. I decided not to go because as soon as I had spoken to the health visitor my daughters speech inproved a lot. I still have the list but for now we are seeing how she gets on. As she gets closer to 3 I may consider dropping into a session just to see what they say.. #familyfun

  8. Oh its difficult isn’t it because they are all so different and develop at different times. My 2 year old says a lot but its not always very clear. It worried me for a bit but I have learned to not worry as she is speaking or at least trying and the more practice the better she will get. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

  9. My son spoke really well, then when he was about 2, our lives went funny and he stopped totally. By 2 and a half he was well in front again. the Bobsy was a little slower, but she’s nearly 2 now and speaks well. they do all pick it up differently! I must say I miss the funny noises and words when they start speaking properly. #familyfunlinky

  10. My son rarely spoke until he was near three and then right to full sentences. It’s so hard to know when to intervene and when to let them just adjust and develop at their own pace.

  11. They definitely all develop differently. My son started talking at 6 months and did not stop. By the time he was 2 you could hold a full conversation with him and he would make up the most incredible stories. He’s 8 now and is still a huge chatterbox. My daughter on the other hand was really slow to get started by comparison and by 2 she could only put a couple of words together, and even then you couldn’t really understand them unless you knew her. She turned 3 last month and somewhere over the course of the last few months she has come on leaps and bounds and is turning into a chatterbox herself, although some people still struggle to understand some of her words. My advise would be to not worry but definitely seek help if your gut is telling you there’s a problem x
    Thank you for linking with #FamilyFunLinky

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