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Communications and speech

Communication and language skills are the building blocks to your child’s ability to learn, pay attention, make friends, participate in activities, understand and develop ideas and opinions. Language and communication skills are the gateway to your child’s future life chances.

As a parent, you play a key role in supporting the development of your child’s communication and language skills. 

Children begin to understand words before they can say them. They then learn how to say these words and how to put them together to make sentences. Children develop speech, language and communication skills at different rates. Some develop quickly, while others may take longer and some may need additional support. Children need to: 

  • Learn to understand words, sentences and conversations
  • Learn how to talk using words and sentences. This is often called 
  • Know how to use communicate in different environments. For example, listening as well as talking, or talking to a teacher differently than to a friend. 
  • Say speech sounds correctly so they can be understood by others
 

LANGUAGE refers to:

  • The words and sentences you understand and use
  • The order you put words in a sentence
  • RECEPTIVE: Understanding of language
  • EXPRESSIVE: Use of language to express yourself.

Language is what you say.

What you can do to help

  • Speaking with expression, with a clear voice, using volume (from quiet to loud), pitch (from low to high), and intonation (the changing rhythm and pattern of pitch).
  • face your child when speaking. 
  • If your child says a word or sentence incorrectly, rather than correct them or ask them to repeat it, just say the word / sentence back to them correctly to show you have understood. This way your child always hears the correct version. This is how children learn language.
  • Take time out away from the screen to sit with your child and read a book, sing songs and rhymes
  • Let your child lead the play, let them be the boss of play. This can build self-confidence and does not put pressure on them to talk and respond to the adult all the time.
 

Who can help?

If you’re worried about your child’s development, a health professional in our team will be able to offer advice and support. You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation. **Monday to Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm excluding bank holidays**

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Delivering excellence in Children and Young People’s Services:
a partnership between Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust and
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.
Funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council

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