Supporting your child’s early language development

About supporting your child’s language development

As parents, you know your child the best! You know what activities they like, what they like to play with and what makes them happy.

By incorporating simple strategies into your everyday home activities you can support your child’s language development.

Important Information

Children learn to communicate in different stages. They may look at what they want, reach for it, point, make a noise or sound, use a symbolic noise (e.g. an animal sound or ‘brum brum’
for a car) before attempting the word. At first, their words may be unclear; the clarity of their talking will develop over time.

Initially the focus is on encouraging your child to communicate more frequently at the level they are at now and gradually encouraging them to do a little more with their communication to help them move to the next stage.   

Name the things your child is interested in using one word or very short phrases, for example “Car! The car is driving!”, emphasising and exaggerating the main words.

You can create opportunities for your child to communicate through:

  • Putting items out of reach or in a box but where they can still see them so they need to indicate they need help to get it.
  • Giving choices of two items (e.g. at snack time “do you want banana or apple?”).
  • Offering a little bit (e.g. food at snack time, waiting before turning the page in a book, pause when singing) and wait for your child to indicate they would like some more / for the activity to continue.

Our handouts and supporting videos, give further information on these strategies and examples of how you can use them at home with your child:

If you are feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or struggling to cope please contact your GP who may refer you to the relevant healthcare professional.

What does Cardiff and Vale offer?

The Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Service can offer you advice and support to help you support your child’s speech, language and communication development.
Our dysphagia team can offer advice and support regarding your child’s feeding and swallowing skills.

If your child is already known to our service, please follow the advice you have been given by the Speech and Language Therapist. If you have any queries, please contact us via the number below.

If you live in the Cardiff and Vale area and have concerns about your child’s speech, language, communication or feeding skills and they are not currently known to our service, please phone us to discuss your concerns.

Cardiff Family Advice and Support offers parents, children, young people and families with advice and information (for families living within the Cardiff area only)

Contact details

Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Service
Cardiff and Vale UHB
1st Floor, Woodlands House
Maes-y-Coed Road
CF14 4HH

Telephone: 029 2183 6585

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