Sundara Kesavan, Speech and Language Pathologist (ROH)

: 25/09/2020

Here are some strategies to contrive situations to evoke communication skills

1. If the child wants something, pretend not to know what it is and encourage him/her to tell you what he/she wants or needs.

2. In addition to number 1, provide the child with things that he or she needs help with, for example needs help to open a bottle as the lid is too tight, or to turn on a toy, and then get him/her to tell you what it is she/he wants you to do.

3. In activities, encourage the child to provide at least the last word in the sentence. For example in a book activity, you could use a phrase such as “This is a …” and the child completes the sentence.

4. When involved in an activity ask simple questions such as “What’s that?, What’s happening? and What do you want?”

5. Provide the child with alternatives so he/she has to tell you what he/she wants. For example. Do you want the ball or the mirror? As opposed to Do you want the ball?, which just requires a yes or no answer.

6. Eat a desired food or play with a preferred toy in front of the child without offering any to him/her. Give only a small amount when the request is made, to facilitate repeated requests.

7. Offer a non-preferred food item to elicit a protest.

8. Activate a wind-up toy; let it deactivate and then hand it to the child.

9. Open a jar of bubbles, blow bubbles, then close the jar tightly and give the closed jar to the child.

10. Initiate a social game with the child (e.g. tickles, tossing up in the air, etc.) until they express pleasure, then stop the game and wait.

11. Set up a game, leaving out one important part (e.g. dice, spinner, game piece) and say, “let’s play.”

12. Blow up a balloon and slowly deflate it. Hand the deflated balloon to the child or hold the deflated balloon up to your mouth and wait.

13. Start putting a puzzle together but keep a piece, so that there is one missing at the end.

14. Select an object that your child desires and place it in a container.

15. Set up for painting or a craft activity without glue or paints.

16. Tell your child they can go outside to play, but leave the door locked.

17. Put a familiar toy together the wrong way (e.g. put the arm in the location for Mr. Potato Head’s hat.)

18. When swinging in the playground, give a few pushes. Then hold the swing and wait.

19. Sing a favourite song and pause mid song. Wait for your child to fill in the words.