Children’s Speech and Language Therapy – Toolkit

This section of our website holds useful information and ideas on how to work on a range of speech and language difficulties before you need help from a Speech and Language Therapist. We would recommend trying some of these ideas consistently for 3 – 6 months before requesting further support from the service.

Help for Parents and Carers

Here you will find some top tips and activities you can carry out with your child based on what they are finding tricky. We recommend you start with “start here for some top tips”. After this, read through the descriptions and if this sounds like your child, have a browse of the advice in the drop down menu. Every child is different, but the advice in these sections is generally in order of when we expect those skills to develop.

Start here for some top tips

Read this advice:

  1. The Language Pyramid
  2. Special Time

My child plays with the same toys in the same way and often plays on their own

My child isn’t talking yet and doesn’t have a way of showing me what they want

This might look like…

  • Not yet waving or pointing

Try these to help:

  1. How to work on non-verbal communication
  2. How to work on early communication

My child can only listen for a short time

This might look like…

  • Playing with a toy for a short time
  • Flitting between play activities
  • Fidgets in their seat
  • Prefers active games to still ones

Try these to help:

  1. How to work on Early Attention and Listening skills
  2. How to work on attention and listening
  3. How to use first-then to work on following tasks
  4. How to make good listening environments

My child needs help to learn more words

This might look like…

  • They have few words
  • They use gestures and show me rather than using words
  • They use the wrong word

Try these to help:

  1. How to work on learning first words
  2. How to work on vocabulary

My child doesn’t understand what I say to them

This might look like..

  • Does a bit of what they are asked but not everything
  • Doesn’t seem to have heard me
  • Doesn’t answer questions
  • Can’t always work out what I am asking them to do

Try these to help:

  1. When children learn how to understand language
  2. How to work on early understanding skills
  3. When children learn what different concepts mean
  4. How to work on concepts from big to equal
  5. How to work on auditory memory

My child needs increase the number of words they say in a sentence

This might look like..

  • Their sentences are shorter than their friends
  • It is hard for them to share trickier ideas
  • They get frustrated expressing themselves

Try these to help:

  1. When children learn how to use words and sentences
  2. How to work on simple sentences and grammar
  3. How to work on vocabulary and simple sentences
  4. When children learn how to tell stories
  5. How to work on joining words like ‘and’

When my child talks their speech isn’t very easy to understand

This might look like..

  • Changing sounds in words
  • Missing some speech sounds out of words
  • They get frustrated when others don’t understand what they are saying

Try these to help:

  1. How to work on listening to speech sounds
  2. Advice and Activities

My child stumbles on their words

This might look like..

  • Repeating sounds in words
  • Pausing in words

Try these to help:

  1. How to support a young child with a stammer
  2. The British Stammering Association has a wide range of resources available.

My child is quiet and shy in some places and with some people

My child is learning more than one language at home

Help for Health and Education Professionals

Here you will find some information and ideas to support speech and language and communication difficulties in school. These are ideas you can try before you need to refer to us, or while you are waiting for a child to be seen.

Ideas to develop word knowledge and vocabulary

Ideas to help speech sounds development

Ideas to help children who stammer