We are concentrating our focus on teaching Harry how to listen so he can then learn to speak.
This is an adaptation of another mother’s list of best practice in developing listening skills leading to speech
Use a moderate, clear voice.
Use full sentences and model language correctly.
Talk, talk, talk – about every activity you do with him. Don’t miss a chance to have a conversation whenever you can, and be close by and at his eye and ear level. However don’t talk about abstract things- talk about what Harry is interested in
Give Harry a chance to talk back. Ask him a question and wait, wait, wait. Count slowly to five. Only then provide the answer if he has not yet responded.
Reward approximations. If you say ‘cup’ and he says ‘oo’, don’t correct him, just say, ‘that’s right, it’s a cup, good talking Harry, you said cup’.
Sing songs that are fun and include actions.
‘Communicate’ – When Harry makes sounds, copy and make them back, and then vary it and start a new sound and see if Harry will copy it back.
Minimise background noise – turn off the tv, washing machine, etc. It makes it very hard for Harry to hear properly.
Say it before he sees it eg. ‘Do you want a drink Harry.” Give him a chance to think about what you are asking, then show him the drink. Do you want to read a book Harry.” Wait, then show him the book.
– To teach him that words mean something.
– To teach him how to listen- how to distinguish between different sounds (much harder for him than a hearing baby).