Have you become an expert guesser and translator for your child, because no one else understands them? Does your child lead you to the things he wants or needs, or cries and tantrums while you try to figure out why? Your child will try to communicate any way they can, and it can be through behaviors.

Are you frustrated because your child isn’t able to focus while you try to read them a story, won’t answer when you ask questions, doesn’t follow directions? Communication is a two-way street. Your child may be struggling to understand the story, the directions, and may not know how to answer questions.

Does your child walk away from a conversation, say “Dunno” or “Nothing” or “Forget it” when you want more information? Your child may be internalizing the idea that he or she has nothing to say, because they can’t effectively convey their amazing ideas, or even their basic wants and needs effectively. They are learning to stop trying, to give up, because they are frustrated, and they need help.

Communication is key to your child’s development and growth. Model good communication practices by finding time in the day when you can give your child undivided attention. Slow down your speech, make eye contact, give them time to express themselves. If answering questions is difficult for your child, then offer choices instead of leaving things open-ended. Ask your child to look at your mouth when you model words or sounds for them to repeat. If concerns persist, bring them up to your pediatrician or glance at to find a certified SLP in your neighborhood.