24 Months 3 Weeks – Concept of Recurrence

Roman wanting more chips At this point your child may have graduated from using just “more” to get more of an item.  You are going to see more novel word combinations such as “I want that too” or “I want another one”.  The best way to encourage these phrases is by verbally modeling them yourself and creating opportunities for your children to use them.  

To create these opportunities, only give your children a little bit of each item.  For instance, if their eating Cheerios just give them 5 since they are obviously going to want more.  You can then show it to them in your hand to motivate a phrase that requires recurrence (or a fancy word for more!).  

There are many times throughout the day you can do this such as mealtime, snack time, play time (e.g. – withholding blocks), story time (e.g. – do not turn the page and have them ask for  more of the book), bath time, etc.  We love finding fun, new ways to extend phrases!

24 Months 2 Weeks – Using “I” in Sentences

Roman with all the moms Everything is “I I I I” and the world revolves around them.  When they finally get the concept of “I” and that it is actually them they will start commenting on their actions like no other!                                                                                                                      

We find it often happens with things that “go wrong”.  For instance, if something broke they may say “I broke” or if they’re falling they say “I falling”.  Use any opportunity to comment on what you are doing, so they begin to understand the concept.  If you are cooking, you can say “I’m cutting”, “I’m mixing”, etc.

A great way to get longer “I” statements out of them is asking questions such as “What are you doing” or “Tell me about what you’re doing” to keep it open-ended.  It may lead to “I eating yogurt” or “I playing Legos” – and hopefully one day “I giving Mommy a massage!” 😉  And it doesn’t always have to be an action… you can move onto feelings or attributes such as “I sad” or “I have blue eyes”.  

This will later lead to the concept of “you” as you keep talking about what you are doing at the moment and what they are doing such as “I am reading” and “You are playing”.  It is also helpful to point to who you are talking about so it becomes more visual.  Have fun teaching pronouns!

23 Months 1 Week -How to Deal with Terrible Twos in Speech Therapy Fashion

Roman jumping up and down Oh boy!!  Have you entered the Terrible Twos yet?  We have here!  Yes it might be early, but we are in the depths of it.  Crying, screaming, hitting, laying yourself on the ground – you name it.  It’s actually a very natural phase.  Although we see it as negative behavior, it is really more a phase for your toddler to use their voice, gauge their power, and see what they can get away with.  

We like to think of the first step in speech and language fashion.  Let’s say you see your child gradually becoming upset and you want to try to prevent it from escalating.  You can start off by saying “I know you’re feeling sad Johnny took the toy from you.  Why don’t we go over there and try to ask for it back?  And then once you play with it for 5 minutes we can give him a turn”.  

If you see the behavior getting out of control what we often like to do is to take him away from the situation to get the attention off.  At this point we feel that ignoring works best (making sure they are not hurting themselves of course).  

Once they calm down (it make take 5-10 or more minutes!), we always find that praising them for good behavior such as keeping their body calm, calming down, keeping their hands down, standing up, etc. is the way to go.  Keep it simple while using positive language such as “Good keeping your feet down!”.  This way you are reinforcing positive behavior and not negative behavior.  Different techniques of course work for different children, but in our case we’ve seen the explanation of feelings in the beginning greatly diminish negative behavior.  We wish you all the luck in the world!  😉

23 Months – Using Phrases to Give Compliments

Roman and Mom  Your toddler is becoming very aware of his surroundings and people around him.  You can use it as a chance to really connect with people and things by giving compliments.  For instance, Roman has started complimenting our hair saying “hair nice”.  

You can target things such as artwork and verbally model phrases such as “pretty picture”.  If a girl is wearing a pretty dress you can model “cute dress”.  If a friend is playing with a fun new toy you can say “cool new truck”.  This now only will make others feel happy, but will also make your toddler start thinking about the power of their words.  

And it doesn’t necessarily have to be someone or something that someone has made or has.  It could be things that you see in nature.  Let’s say you’re taking a walk you can talk about a tree by saying “Wow that’s a beautiful tall tree!”.  There are tons of possibilities, so go ahead and make someone’s day!

22 Months 3 Weeks – What to Expect During Mealtime with a 2 Year Old

Roman and berries Can you believe it?  You’re child is almost two!  We decided to concentrate on mealtime milestones this week since a lot more is expected of your child at this point.  In terms of texture, they should now be able to eat all textures including: purees, soft chewables, ground lump purees, and more chewable foods. Tougher solids are expected after 24 months.  

As for oral-motor skills, your child should now exhibit rotary chewing instead of diagonal chewing.  Lateral tongue action should be visible.  They should have also mastered straw drinking.  Overall, you should observe a decrease in food intake by 24 months.

When it comes to motor skills, their pincer grasp should be refined and they should be past finger feeding.  You now want them to grasp the spoon with their whole hand and independently feed themselves by scooping food and brining it to their mouth.  All in all, you should see increased control of utensils.  As you can see, mealtime and fine motor skills are highly intertwined.

And of course to limit pickiness, have your child eat meals with the whole family and most importantly have them eat what you’re eating.  If they are hesitant, have them explore the food with their senses (e.g. – touching it with their fingers).  The more they are exposed to different foods the better!  So if salmon and cabbage salad is on the menu, it’s also what’s for dinner for your child!  

22 Months 1 Week – Combining Chores with Following Directions

Roman dancing. It’s never too early to start learning about chores and how to help out in the house!Now that your child is getting better at following directions feel free to intertwine basic “chores” into the daily routine.  

It could be as simple as cleaning up. From an early age we started the clean up song even when he did not speak just so he got used to the melody and words. At this point you can sing it along with them and see if they hum along or imitate any of the words. Just hearing the song will trigger cleaning up after playtime or even mealtime.  Once they get used to the routine they will begin cleaning up on their own, sometimes even singing the song all by themselves!

Specific directions you can give is “Give me your cup/plate/fork and let’s put it in the sink” (they most likely cannot reach yet even with a step stool, but it’s good to practice), “Put your ____ in the dishwasher”, “Throw it in the garbage”, “Go get me a paper towel”, “Put your socks away” (or any clothing), “Walk the dog”, etc.  We even found working on colors while doing laundry is an excellent receptive language task (e.g. – dark vs. light or putting all the red socks together).

22 Months – Encouraging “I feel…” Sentences

Roman is happy. The world is an exciting place and it comes with lots of feelings for little ones (and adults), so we have to make sure we give them a voice to talk about how they feel.  For instance, my son is starting to get the concept of “scary” if it’s a ghost, lion, etc. and he will comment saying phrases such as “ghost scary”.

TAG We recommend starting off with basic feelings such as happy vs. sad.  You can practice smiling and frowning in front of the mirror and labeling the feelings with one word.  We also started by looking at pictures of babies in Mrs. Mustard’s Baby Feelings book and our Baby Feeling ibook since they are clear depictions of happy vs. sad.  We also talked about feelings while watching videos or television shows to make screen time an interactive experience.

You can also talk about feelings as they happen since this is the prime age for tantrums!  For instance, if someone took their toy away you can label the feeling with a sentence such as “I know that makes you feel SAD”.  As they get the hang of it, you can add more complicated feelings in such as excited, scary, surprised, etc.  They love imitating your facial expressions and even pretending!  For instance, you can do role-play with dinosaurs and pretend to hide under a blanket or pillows to pretend to be very scared!  Targeting feelings through story time and art are also fantastic ways to go over feelings and using that starter phrase “I feel ____”, “She feels ____”, “He feels ____”, “They feel ____”, etc.  Have a HAPPY day! ☺