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  • Writer's pictureMorgan McWaters M.S., CCC-SLP

#1 Strategy To Get Your Child Talking in Phrases

Copy and Add - The #1 Strategy Speech-Language Pathologists teach to parents to help their child move from the single word level into the phrase level.

How to implement Copy and Add to get your child talking:

At From the Heart Speech Therapy Inc., we are huge proponents of intertwining speech strategies into the routines you already have established with your little one. By implementing a strategy into something your already doing, it is easier to integrate into your daily life.

When implementing Copy and Add, you will repeat back what your child has said and add another word on so they can hear how to make their sentences longer. Or, if your child has said a short phrase but was missing a few words, you can repeat the phrase back, while adding the missing words. That way, the child can hear how to make their sentences grammatically correct.

When adding on a new word, you want to be sure you use a variety of different words including: verbs, adjectives, pronouns, and prepositions. Your child needs to be able to hear a variety of phrases and words before he or she can implement the words into their own vocabulary.

Some examples include:

1) Playing with toys

  • Child: "Dog"

  • Parent: "BIG dog"

2) Going on a walk

  • Child: "Airplane"

  • Parent: "LOUD airplane"

3) Eating a meal

  • Child: "Apple"

  • Parent: "You WANT apple"

4) Bath Time

  • Child: "Feet"

  • Parent: "WASH feet"

Why does copy and add work?

When we repeat and expand a child's utterance, they are hearing words they already know, in addition to new words. This means the new words are more likely to be understood. A child needs to be able to understand the meaning of the word before they can use it expressively.

If your child is a late talker or you are concerned about your child's speech and language development, contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We have speech-language pathologists certified in Hanen It Takes Two to Talk Program, a program designed specifically for parents of young children (birth to 5 years of age) who have been identified as having a language delay. We would love to help you!

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