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Language strategies: Getting down to your child’s level

Language difficulties are nobody’s fault, but changing the way you talk can really help your child.

How do I use this strategy?

When you are playing with your child get down to their level so you are ‘face to face’.

Mum and child sat together playing a car game

Top tips

  • When you and your child are playing together get on the child’s level so you can be face to face. This could be sitting on the floor, lying on the floor or sitting on a settee, wherever your child is.
  • Your child chooses where they are playing as they know what is most fun for them.
  • If you cannot physically sit on the floor, get a little chair or a stool.

Why do this strategy?

When you are at the child’s level you will be more tuned in. You will see things as they see them and be more aware of their interests and what they might want to talk about.

It will be easier for you to follow your child’s lead.

You will be more aware of the words to model for them. Your child will know that you are interested in them and what they are doing.

You will be able to encourage good eye contact.

You may realise that some sounds, noises, eye contact or body language are directed at specific things you didn’t notice before. This may be your child’s conversation, and you will be in a good position to notice and join in!

Your child will be able to see your mouth movements as you model words for them.

Additional resources and information

Your first stop for information on children’s communication. Here you can find information to help you understand and support children and young people’s speech, language and communication: Talking Point

Visit the online hub of free advice and resources for parents with children facing difficulties in speaking and understanding language: I Can

Activities for parents, children and young people to improve their language, literacy and communication skills from home: Words For Life

An article on: Helping Your Child to Talk

Helping you help children to communicate: The Hanen Centre

The Giving Voice campaign aims to ‘give voice’ to people with speech, language and communication needs: Giving Voices 

Contact us

For more information please contact the Speech and Language Therapy Service at Flockton House on 0114 226 2333.

Is something missing from this resource that you think should be included? Please let us know

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Please note this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s. The details in this resource may not necessarily reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If you have specific questions about how this resource relates to your child, please ask your doctor.

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