Lisa Ehrie shares some applications about chapter 2:
PARENTS NEED TO TALK MORE TO THEIR BABIES AND CHILDREN! This will foster higher IQ, higher achievement in school and improve their language processing speed. This is something we pretty much already agreed on.
We have probably said that exact statement before to many of our families during early intervention. But that is one of those statements that may seem easy to do (to us), but can be very vague and empty to parents who may not be in tune to or aware of what “Talk to your kids more” even means on the most basic level. It probably could even be very stressful for parents to feel that they need to “change” the way they talk or speak to their child. That is why my favorite line of the chapter was:
“We don’t have to get parents to talk differently to their children. We just have to help them (talk) more” ….and the rest will take care of itself.
We are often so involved with the therapy side of our world, we miss that we can also be great resources for home. Handouts are helpful and telling them strategies is definitely beneficial. But I had the realization in this chapter that the skills we are advocating are not as “second nature” as we feel – if they were, parents would already be doing them! Basketball coaches and Art instructors teach others too – and they do it by showing – that is what I may lack sometimes. Modeling specific scripts, comments or activities that parents can do. This chapter gave many key ones that we can try to zero in on when we teach and actually model to parents during early intervention.
The researchers confirmed the following as critical to language development:
1. Homes need lots of words used in them
2. Affirmative feedback (Good job, You’re so smart, That’s right Versus Stop talking, be quiet, or no response at all when the child speaks to them)
3. Joint attention where parent/child use meaningful words and gestures as they share an activity
4. Routines and Rituals – my turn/your turn, games, structured daily events
5. Business talk (get down, put your shoes on, eat your dinner) Versus Extra Talk (What a big tree, This ice-cream is yummy, Who’s mommy’s big boy?). Extra talk is the chit-chat of life!
If we can incorporate and model some of these specific ideas to parents, it could really impact their “homes” and begin a change in their language environment that will last long after the toddler stage.