1) Listen to what your child is saying. Children must feel that what they say is important. Put down the paper, turn off the TV or car radio, and converse. Knowing that you are listening to them will reinforce their confidence in speaking to you and to others.
2) Practice developing strong eye contact. Require that your child look into your eyes whenever they speak to you. Then challenge them to do the same when talking to anyone else. Praise them when you see this happening.
3) Develop articulation. Use tongue twisters to emphasize articulation in a fun way. Concentrate on correct articulation. Do not allow the child to speak too fast at the cost of poor articulation.
4) Ask your child open ended questions that require more than a yes or no answer. For example – “Tell me more about your movement exercises in class today?” If you need a subject to discuss, perhaps read a small story to your child then ask hypothetical questions about what might happen next, or which character they liked.
Older children can be involved in discussing national news events, or school activities.
5) Don’t speak for your child. Encourage children to speak for themselves. For example, have children place their own orders at restaurants. The practice of speaking to others in a clear voice is well worth the extra time that it may take to get your food.