City Speech's Goal Is to Help Each Child Meet Their Full Communication Potential

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Tools & Helpful Tips

Assessment Questions

Go through the list of questions. If you find that you have answered yes to one or more of these questions, please contact City Speech, Inc.

• Does your child repeat parts of words or whole words or hold on to sounds? Can he or she not get words out as if they are stuck? Has this lasted more than six months?

• Is your child difficult to understand? Do other people ask you what your child is saying?

• Does your child have difficulty following directions? Do you find that you have to repeat directions often and use gestures to try to guide them?

• Does your child have difficulty reading, spelling, or comprehending what she or he reads?

• Does your child have difficulty expressing and sequencing stories or events? Does your child have difficulty expressing his or her ideas clearly? Do you find that you have to ask a lot of questions to help clarify your child's message?

• Does your child have difficulty socializing with peers or adults?

• Does your child get easily frustrated when trying to communicate? Does he or she withdraw from talking situations?

Tools Tips

Read daily with your child. Let him/her hold the book. Focus on the printed words. Have him/her tell you the story. Label him/her as a reader and he/she will feel the power of reading. The love of books and reading is the key to success in school.
Use every opportunity to develop language. A simple game of ball provides opportunity for eye contact, conversational turn taking, using language to request, reject, label and question. Provide good language models such as "My turn. Throw the blue ball to me." Teach concepts such as "You threw the ball way up high, low, next to, under, etc."

Basic Rules & Facts for Early Speech & Language Development

• Reduce the amount of questions you ask your child. If they are having trouble using language, they will have trouble answering your questions. Try commenting instead, such as, "Look at the tree. It has big green leaves on its branches."

• Label items without demanding a response. Provide a simple definition or explain function. This will improve their vocabulary.

• Expand your child's utterances. If your child says, "Dog," you say, "Yes. That's a big dog."

• Model good speech and language rather than correcting errors directly. If your child says, "Her big girl," you can respond, "Yes, she is a big girl."

• Self-talk. While doing everyday activities, talk to your child and explain what you are doing. For example, if you are making a sandwich, you can say, "First, I am going to get out the bread, and then I am going to spread the peanut butter..."

• Provide multiple opportunities for socialization with peers and adults. Encourage independent communication.

• Have your child "read" his or her favorite book to you and show you the pictures. Talk about parts of the book such as pages, cover, and words.

• Ask your preschool or early school-aged child to answer questions from books after each page.

• Early developing sounds are p, b, m, n, t, d, w. These are visible and are in early words, such as mama, no, bye, and wawa (water).

• Reduplicating sounds are easier and can be true words such as dada, mama, bye-bye, and wawa. Accept these as true words.

• When your child uses a word, reinforce them immediately by giving them a desired item. This works better than cheers. If your child says, "Wawa," you can say, "Okay. Let's go get some water."

• Provide an environment that encourages language use. For example, give a small amount of liquid in his or her cup. That way he or she needs to request more. You can also put desirable toys up high so they have to request, "Down."

• Come up with a list of important function words for your child's needs. Some examples are: hi, bye, more, yes and no, help, up, down, mom, dad, his or her name, family members, and pets.

• Keep an ongoing list of your child's utterances. Note any changes or inconsistencies.

• Encourage oral-motor activities, such as bubble blowing, horn blowing, straw drinking, silly face imitation, animal sounds, and environmental sounds (train, car, wind, etc.).

• Draw your child's attention to your mouth while you produce words. Be on their eye level.

City Speech offers FREE Speech Screenings! Contact Lori at 314-704-5727 or email to schedule your child's screening.


(314) 704-5727

(314) 863-7545


141 N Meramec Avenue, Suite 110A
Clayton, MO 63105


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