Do you find yourself looking for tips on how to encourage toddlers to go from gestures to words? Early intervention speech therapists do this all of the time!

Many toddlers use gestures to communicate their wants/needs throughout the day. Gestures can include pointing, holding out an object, nodding, blowing a kiss, and many more. To help your child go from gestures to words, here are a few tips you can incorporate into your daily routines. These strategies will help connect the words to the communication gestures that your child is already using. 

Follow your child’s lead, notice the gestures you child is using, copy the gesture, and add words to your child’s gestures.

For example: When your child points at a dog. You can point to the dog as well and say, “I see a dog!”  Or if your child shakes his or her head “no” to putting on a shirt, try imitating the gesture and say “no, no shirt.”

Take your child’s lead and make it fun/engaging for your child. 

Early Intervention speech therapists specialize in improving a child’s speech and abilities to understand and express language, including nonverbal language. Early Intervention is an effective means in treating (and even preventing) speech and language disorders and may also help to prevent later developing literacy or language challenges.

Now that the summertime is here, if you or your family member is looking for a speech therapy evaluation contact us today!

About the Author: Jacqueline Pfeiffer, M.S. CCC-SLP earned her B.S. in Psychology at The State University of New York College at Oneonta and M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology from Sacred Heart University. Jacqueline provides Early Intervention Speech Therapy Services to children ages 0-3 in Westchester County.