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+1 ROUTINE: after they have their first 50 words; they start combining words. The +1 routine helps expand your

child’s utterance (short sentence). Example: If you child says “car”, respond by saying “blue car”

1:3 RULE: reduce your number of questions. Make more statements. For each question asked, make three comments.

Example: Is that a bird? Look at the wings! The bird is flying! I like birds and fish!

SELF TALK: talk about what you are doing. Use excited voices and change your pitch to make it fun for your child.

Practice this during normal routines but keep you language simple. Example: At the grocery store, “What do we need

today?” “I need four yogurts, one, two, three, four. I am going to put them in the cart.”

VERBAL ROUTINES: Use the same words during play or daily routines. Hearing the same thing over and over helps

build language. Kids will begin to expect it and may start to join in and finish them. Remember to keep them simple.

WAITING: Be patient and give them time to respond. Answering questions or thinking of a word can take longer than

we realize. If we pause for a few seconds children may communicate without help. Some children may take longer to


OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS: Avoid yes/no questions. Ask more open-ended question. An open-ended question is a

questions that can be answered with more than one word. If you get a one word answer use other strategies to make

their response longer +1 routine, give them choices, model, etc.

USE VISUALS: Show them objects or pictures of what you’re talking about. Our brains learn words by making

connections. Use multisensory approaches use all their senses what they see, hear, smell, taste, feel to make it easier to


GIVE THEM CHOICES: Giving them choices is helpful for several reasons. It gives them power to decide independently.

Do not give more than 2 choices to start we want to make the decision easier. Use words to give them the choices so

they hear the choices which helps them also know what words to use.

COMMUNICATION TEMPTATION/SABOTAGING: Communication temptations/sabotage is setting up daily

routines or play so your child needs to ask you for help. You adjust their environment to make language/words

necessary. Keep those favorite items out of reach. Make the reason to communicate by asking for what they want.

HAVE FUN: Having fun is important. Be silly, playful, and want. Making them laugh is great for building attention and

encouraging social interaction. Be forgetful and intentionally forget to give your child items. Example: give them a

pudding cup and don’t give them a spoon.

MODEL/IMITATION: Model what to do or tell them what to say. After you do it let your child try and encourage them.

Once your child starts to copy you see if they will sign or say a word on their own without you giving them a model.

Children learn how to communicate by imitating what they see and hear. Learning how to copy actions with their body is

an important early skill. Children can then learn to imitate play skills, sounds, and eventually words.

SIMPLE SPEECH: Do not use too many words together. Instead of a long sentence, break up information into shorter

simple sentences.

REPETITION: Repeat, repeat, repeat the same words hundreds of times. They need to hear a word many times before

they will begin to use it.

PARALLEL TALK: Talk out loud about what your child is doing. Use short sentences. Name things. Use verbs (action

words) use words to tell them where things are.

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