It took some time before my three year old son formulated his very first words. I think it was when he was two when he would say ‘baba’ and ‘mama’. And then the rest of his words were just incomprehensible babble.
This got me worried.
Of course it would get any parent worried especially when they see their kid almost 4 and still not catching up with others verbally.
Everyday, we would try as much as possible to stimulate him to speak by trying to read books for him, tell him stories and take him for walks.
But he just would not speak.
I had by then learnt that I was part of his problem since when he was tiny, I had given him permission to have lots of screen time watching the irresistible baby shark. At first, I thought that I was doing him good but how wrong I was.
So on the realization that it was not helping, I stopped it.
I browsed and immersed myself into books that would give me an iota of hope that he would one day wake up to speak.
I thought he had the Einstein syndrome and so bought the book from Thomas Sowell but unfortunately, he was not recommending anything to do to get him talking.
Then there was the Nemechek protocol that promised to hasten speech. He just hated the inulin and DHA fish oil. No remarkable progress in his words.
And then I bumped into the telltale signs of autism. And I just had to get myself waking up one morning to have him taken to a speech therapist to determine whether he had autism spectrum disorder.
The therapist told me that the kid was okay. And that play therapy would help him out of his lack of words.
It has been working fine.
Christmas Gifts for Speech Delayed Children
As Christmas is nigh, I felt that it would be a great thing if I put up a post on best toys that are going to stimulate your late talker to start speaking. So here we go:
Every child needs a set of dolls that they are going to treat as their family.
They are going to be feeding, washing and dressing up the doll.
They will also want to sleep with them.
This enhances pretend play since the child will be imitating you giving him instructions here and there.
- Musical toys
Let your child explore their musical talents with a set that is meant for little ones. The little one will be fascinated by the different tunes while they also fine tune their motor skills as they hold the different sticks to beat them drums.
- Drive in toy car
You can get your child either a small car toy or even a drive-in car where they will be mimicking you driving.
- Board games
Board games such as scrabble for little ones, draughts and chess are going to be awesome in that they will help the child socialize as they play alongside their peers. It is also a great time to notice the behavioral characteristics of your child as they interact with others.
- Animal sound puzzle
Melissa and Doug are speech pathologists who fit the bill when it comes to designing the best toys that are going to inspire your toddler to speak. They have this awesome animal farm puzzle which comes with a board that will fit different cut out animals. Everytime the kid fits the right animal into its slot, they are going to be rewarded with the sound of the animal. So they are going to be treated to the moo of a cow, the bleat of the sheep or the grunt of a pig.
Other than entertaining your child, it will want them to imitate the sounds of the animals as well as try to identify them anytime you walk by a cow or sheep.
- Trips to amusement parks
Other than buying gifts for your toddler this Christmas, you could as well take them to amusement parks where they are going to meet other kids and play alongside them on bouncing castles and trampolines.
As they play with other kids, they are going to learn the value of turn taking as they try the swings, merry go rounds and seesaws.
At the same time, they will be socializing with other kids and picking words from them. Do not be embarrassed at the amusement park that your kid is not speaking while those younger than him are doing it comfortably. Rather look at the glee on your child’s face and let it console you.
- Social events where there are lots of kids
If there is an opportunity to visit your extended family back in the countryside where the kid is going to meet their little cousins, you should try as much as possible to get the child visiting those places.
You could even let the kid stay there for the entire holiday so that they have lots of play and social interaction with their peers.