Late Talker Therapy Techniques
Late talker therapy will and SHOULD look a lot like play, playing with a purpose. Play is the most meaningful activity for a child, and during play, a child learns speech, language, cognitive, and motor skills.
Therapy may also look a like real, daily life! By targeting language learning during daily routines, your child will learn language skills in a meaningful, motivating way. Learn more below.
For late talkers, there are 2 types of models:
- Indirect (parents provide therapy with guidance from professionals)
- Direct (speech language pathologist provides therapy and parents complete home practice to supplement).
Indirect Therapy Options:
- Shared Reading
- Implementation of individualized language techniques. You can find some of my favorites at Toddler Talk.
- Toddler Talk 2.0 is a resource to help parents practice evidence-based therapy techniques today!
Progress is monitored on a regular basis through email, phone calls, coaching sessions, or meetings.
- A child is seen for individual therapy sessions.
- A child has a plan of care with individual goals selected for developmental appropriateness based off of the initial speech-language evaluation.
- Parent implements language learning strategies at home, during the week
- Parents may provide therapy during therapy sessions under the guidance of a speech-language pathologist. This helps parents practice what to do during the week when the speech pathologist is not present.
Late Talker Therapy Techniques
Child Centered Therapy:
- Play-based activities in the child’s natural setting
- The child chooses toys and directs play
- The speech pathologist uses indirect language stimulation techniques (more on that in a minute)
Clinician Directed Therapy:
- The speech-language pathologist creates structured activities, not necessarily play-based
- The therapist directs play
- The therapist chooses toys/stimuli
- The speech pathologist creates structured play activities
- The child engages in structured play with high interest toys
- The speech pathologist follows the child’s lead to some extent and guides play/creates a lot of opportunities for communication practice
Language Modeling Tip
Language Stimulation Techniques
- Expansions: A child’s utterance is repeated while increasing complexity (grammar and/or semantics) by one unit
- Recasts: Recasts are a type of expansion where a child’s utterance is repeated, but the repetition changes the mode of the utterance (i.e., active voice to passive voice)
- Choices: A child is given a choice of two options (usually presented in a one-word phrase). This is a great way to ask a question without quizzing and to create more opportunities for communication practice.
- One piece at a time: A child is offered a toy or food (one at a time). This way, the child must use communication (word or sign) to request for more
For more language techniques, check out Toddler Talk 2.0!
Length/frequency of therapy
A child is USUALLY seen 1-2 times per week for 30-45 minute treatment sessions in the home (when possible).
Personally, I LOVE the home environment because:
- parents are present and learn therapy techniques
- parents can practice language techniques under guidance of a speech pathologist
- toys are of interest to the child and “games” can be easily played all week when the therapist leaves
- effective and convenient parent education opportunities
Once a child reaches all of his/her language goals and has age expected language skills, therapy is usually over.
Progress is monitored by a speech-language pathologist since many children will “catch up” but then fall behind again once language demands increase.
Many children who are late talkers are diagnosed with a specific language impairment in elementary school.
Late Talker Games
Now, we are getting to the good stuff. What can you do about it!
There is actually A LOT you can do:
- First, read this page right now and then come back. You must learn how to talk to your child.
- Second, read this page. You must learn how to play with your toddler.
Okay, now you are ready for some games.
- Check out our favorite late talker games
- Consider our eBooks series!!! These will TRULY help!!! Toddler Talk 2.0 is for children who are only saying a few words. START HERE. You will learn how to encourage those first words.
- If your child is saying more than 50 words, consider Toddler Talking 2.0. It is the boost your child needs!
For EVEN MORE IDEAS: