Help! My Child Doesn’t Talk at Preschool

Avarie burst into laughter as we role-played a “play dough centre” using dolls. As iStock 000020076941SmallAvarie chatted happily with her doll, her dad asked, “Why doesn’t Avarie talk at preschool? She often smiles at her teachers and the other kids. The kids love it when Avarie laughs when they drop something over & over again, or stick something on their nose.”

We tried many ways to help Avarie feel more comfortable so she would talk more at preschool.

  • Avarie had playdates with several kids from her class. They went to the park and to Avarie’s favorite play centres together.
  • Avarie brought one of her treasured toys or books each day to school to share with her teachers and friends.
  • The teachers engaged with Avarie in silly ways to bring out her wonderful sense of humor.
  • The teachers made it easier for Avarie to talk with them by using comments instead of questions, and by praising her when she looked up instead of requesting her eye contact, i.e. “Avarie, I love your beautiful brown eyes!”
  • Avarie was encouraged to play one-on-one or with small groups of classmates.
  • The teachers added appealing puppets to the activities that Avarie did to entice her talking turns.

After a few days of using these activities with Avarie… she surprised her teachers by initiating “puppet talk” with her school friends. Avarie’s funny, charismatic way of communicating through the puppets had her friends laughing along with her. Her dad was thrilled when he popped into the classroom and saw Avarie chatting with her friends. “My chatter bug is talking at school as much as she does at home!”

How will you help your child feel more comfortable around other adults & children to talk more?

To your Success with Creating Speech-Language Fun for Kids,
“Speech” Keri