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Hi I am Laura Black and I am Charmaine Tearle and we’re speech and language therapists. We both run April cottage therapies and we’ve created some top tips on how to support your child’s communication.

So here are five tips to help you use books to support your children’s communication.

It’s really tempting as parents to just open the book and read the story word for word. But our first tip is to just ditch the words and look at what your child is interested in talking about. So if they want to pull the door open before you’ve read this bit, that is okay and follow their lead and just label what they are doing. So, aah, open the door, you’re opening the door.

Our second tip is to keep language really simple. And at your child’s level of understanding, so age one, your child is usually understanding one key word at age two. They understand two key words and example for one key word with big dog. Oh, look our clock. If it was two keywords, you could say something like, oh look a big cloak. The dog’s licking.

Our third tip is to use gestures while you talk. So for example, we could do something like, is he in the wardrobe? Let’s open the door open. Open!

Our fourth tip is to use symbolic signs while you are looking up pictures as well. So instead of just saying, oh, a crocodile, you can say something like, aah, stop, snap up crocodile or grrr a bear.

Our last tip is to leave a poles. These books are great because they’ve got very repetitive language. So when we say, is he in the box? Usually the next answer is no. So before you get to that note, leave a pause for your child to try and fill.

So it looks something like, is he in the box? Oh no. And if they don’t say no, that’s absolutely fine. You can then model that pack for them.