toddler in pumpkin patchI watched a wonderful interaction between mother and child today during our speech therapy session. It is exciting for me to see my little clients improve, but just as satisfying to watch parents learn how to encourage speech and language.

Little two-year-old Sean loves my three dollar plastic pretend microphone. He selected it out of my bag and started to make sounds into it. Mom held the mike and began to imitate Sean. Much to his delight he continued in their “conversation,” offering up new sounds and syllables, waiting for Mom to imitate. Ever so gradually, Mom began to slightly change what Sean was saying. He said “ba” and she replied “ba ba.” Slowly the roles reversed and Sean started to imitate mom so now he was having to match what mom was saying. He was learning the fun of producing sounds, having a conversation and imitating sounds all at once. By the way, Mom was having fun too!

Whenever we teach parents how to stimulate speech and language, they become a big part of their child’s progress.