4 secret hacks to Getting your late talker to talk. (Part 3)
You’ve made it this far. We learned the key component to trigger motivation in a late talker, how to set the foundation through modeling, and now we are going to move into advance modeling techniques. A child has to hear something first before they can ever be expected to produce it. That is why language modeling techniques are so important for stimulating speech and language production.
Echo-Expansion is one of my very favorite techniques. This is where you begin to see the child produce speech more and more. Echo Expansion is when a child makes an attempt with verbal production and you repeat what they said, adding content (or expanding their utterance) to align closer to proper English. This requires attention to the intent of the child, a little guess work, and chess work (meaning, you read their possible intent and stay a few steps ahead). As language emerges the articulation of a child’s speech is often distorted and interpreting what they are trying to say may require a little guesswork.
Grant in playing with cars with the Little People Garage. He drives the car up the ramp and makes sounds effects to indicate the car is driving. The production is similar to, “vroom”. Mom comments, “vroom, car up”. Grant turns to Mom, “Car” and hands mom a car. Mom replies, “Mommy’s blue car” and takes the car from Grant. Mom drives the car up the ramp, “My car is fast” and she zooms the car up the ramp. Grant takes his car and zooms it up the ramp. He says, “Fast”. Mom echoes, “Fast, Grant’s car is fast.”
During the interaction, Mom is listening, watching and following the child’s lead. She waits for his attempts at speech, interprets the production the best she can, and then repeats while adding in more information.
The phenomenon that occurs through echo-expansion is as the child will begin to echo you back. Like this: The child makes an attempt, you echo and expand the utterance, the child then echoes you-attempting to include the new added expansion. This happens naturally. No demand, no forced “SAY THIS…”. The language begins to flow, effortlessly.
Grant and Mom love to play cars together. They are once again driving the cars around, Mom has gotten use to demonstrating parallel and self-talk throughout their play. Grant drives the cars up the ramp and makes sounds effects to indicate the car is driving. The production is similar to, “vroom”. Mom comments, “vroom, car up”. Grant replies, “vroom, car up”. Grant turns to Mom, “Car” and hands mom a car. Mom replies, “Mommy’s blue car”. Grant replies, “blue car” and Mom takes the car from Grant. Mom drives the car up the ramp, “My car is fast” and she zooms the car up the ramp. Grant takes his car and zooms it up the ramp. He says, “Car fast”. Mom echoes, “Car fast, Grant’s car is fast.”
You get the idea.
Let’s say, a child is making all kinds of noise that doesn’t resemble any speech. However, you perceive they are “talking” in their own language -sort of speak. How do you echo that? This is where the guess work comes into play. By reading the situation, their possible intent, you then echo a possibility. If they babble 3 syllables, state a relevant utterance that has three syllables. If you can discern certain sounds, try to come up with a word that has that sound. You are inserting yourself into the child’s speech. They hear you, keep talking.
The next 4th hack in our blog is going to deal directly with setting up the environment so you can interpret with greater accuracy what the child is trying to say. Here, within this environment we can implement all the strategies and more.
Comment below with questions about echo-expansion. Have you ever tried this strategy before? Give it a go and let me know.
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