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Pause/Wait... to Develop Communication

Including pauses and waiting during play and interactions can encourage more communication from your child.


We don't always give our children enough time or opportunities to use the communication skills they have across everyday routines and during shared play activities. As parents we are experts at anticipating their needs and avoiding situations for them to become upset or frustrated. However, as a result we often miss opportunities for our children to communicate their wants and needs and to develop their communication skills. By pausing or waiting during activities it gives our children a chance to do a little more to let us know what they want and to extend the ways in which they are able to, or are required, to communicate themselves.


Pause and wait during everyday activities, it's that simple! When offering your child an item you know they want, label it and then wait for them to communicate in some way; looking at you, smiling, reaching/pointing, vocalising, or saying the word. Pause during ready, steady, go routines, before saying 'go' and continuing with an enjoyable activity, to encourage them to communicate. Offer choices and wait for them to do 'a little bit more' to communicate; if they readily look to you, wait for them to smile, if they readily reach or point, wait for them to vocalise. Try and hold to out until your child does 'a little bit more' to communicate with you.




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