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General strategies to support speech, language and communication skills for school-age children

3 July 2021
  • Get your child’s attention
    • Say your child’s name and ensure they are looking at you before asking them a question or giving an instruction, so they know when to listen.
  • Talk calmly and slowly
    • Talk to your child at a calm and slow pace to support their ability to process words.
  • Use simple language and repeat as necessary
    • Give your child one piece of information at a time, to support memory, using short sentences, and emphasising key words.
  • Check your child has understood instructions or new information.
    • Ask your child to summarise or re-tell what you have said, to ensure they have understood, before giving them new information.
  • Give your child ‘thinking time’
    • Stay quiet after asking a question and give your child time to respond, to help them process information.
  • Use symbols and pictures where possible
    • Add pictures, symbols or actions to represent new words or concepts to support their understanding visually. Set out instructions using task plans and summaries of stories on narrative grids.
  • Model correct language and grammar
    • Correct your child’s grammar and expand sentences by modelling or adding words to what they have said and repeating it back.
  • Encourage your child to ask for help
    • Ensure your child is comfortable to ask for help and knows how and when to ask for help. Offer strategies that will help them to find an answer such as using a dictionary.