Letter songs for toddlers that my baby is finally talking, I can’t understand a word he’s saying! First we want them to talk, but once that happens, we complain that we can’t understand them.
This is a big concern among parents of toddlers, especially when you’ve waited longer than you expected for those first words. Isn’t it normal not to understand what my two year-old is saying? For those of you who aren’t familiar with typical speech sound development, let’s begin with a quick review of the basics. Babies begin to use vowel sounds to coo during the first months of life. Then babies begin to add consonant sounds and combine them with vowels to begin babbling between 7-9 months. Babbling is using a string of consonant-vowel syllables. Near the end of the first year or shortly after, many babies begin to use approximate real words.
Jargon emerges in most children between 12-18 months. Jargon is defined as unintelligible strings of sounds that mimic adult speech. Sometimes parents get upset when they hear their children using lots of jargon. Actually jargon is an indicator that a child is learning to sequence sounds and is trying to copy conversational speech.
How should I respond if I don’t know what he’s saying? My advice is to reword what you think he intended to say to ask for clarification. Hopefully, he’ll try to correct you if your guess was wrong. Other advice is to encourage your child to SHOW you what he wants or is talking about. Being understood is an important part of communicating. What should you do when your child mispronounces a word? Model the word correctly and move on.
Actually, before you start to work on specific consonant sound errors, there are other more important factors you should consider to make your child easier to understand. First Targets for Speech Intelligibility in Toddlers 1. Is my child using the correct number of syllables in a word? Be careful, though, or you’ll have to fix that later!
Is my child using correct vowel sounds in words? As stated previously, most children with typically developing communication skills use vowel sounds correctly by age two. If your child is substituting vowel sounds or leaving off vowel sounds in words, this can be an indicator of motor planning problems, or apraxia. I use lots of animal sounds to work on vowels and really exaggerate the vowel sound.
Think: mooooo, baaa-baaa, meee-ooooow, woooof-wooof, etc. Can my child use two different vowel sounds in words, or does he always copy the first sound for the next syllable? Work to help him hear and say those differences. Again modeling exaggerated vowels is the best way to do this. Some children have difficulty using different consonant sounds in words until age two-and-a-half, but most have mastered this by age three. Is my child learning consonant sounds in the beginnings of words and syllables? Usually, beginning consonant sounds come first, but in some children, they continue to omit beginning sounds while adding some ending consonant sounds.