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Suffolk Center for Speech


Targeting Speech and Language Through Reading

Reading is a simple, but very effective way to target speech and language development with your child!

Targeting Speech:
Find a book that includes as many of your child’s target speech sounds as you can. While practicing those sounds, you can grab a small mirror for visual feedback (or if the book has a mirror – even better!).

As your child points and names objects in the book, repeat the words/names that they produce, calling attention to each of the sounds in the words. With this, you can name words that begin with the same letter in the book, count the sounds in the word, or even target rhyming words. This is a great way to target articulation and phonological awareness!

Targeting Language:
When selecting a book to read with your child, an interactive book would be the best way to go. This will keep your child engaged and can target words such as open and close/under (for a flap book), up and down (with a pop-up book), etc.

Finding books that include familiar and common objects or activities can enhance your child’s daily vocabulary. You can generalize these words by showing them real life examples of the objects/activities you have read about!

While you are reading, allow your child to explore reading and observe them as they do so. Allow them to flip the pages and independently point to objects. If your child points to unfamiliar items, teach them the words to label the item and repeat it with them.

Make predictions of what may happen next. Encourage your child to use context clues and infer what may come next.

Use gestures, act it out, imitate emotions, or change your voice to keep them engaged. This is a great way to target nonverbal language skills!

Once the story is over, ask “wh” questions or do a sequence of events to target story recall and comprehension.

There are so many ways to use books and stories to enhance your child’s speech and language development, so grab your favorite books and have some fun!

-Anna B.


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