Becoming Kindred Blog

The challenges of early speech

A started talking quite early, by eight months she was putting words together and was speaking in sentences and answering questions by a year. Now at just over two she hardly ever stops talking and can carry on a pretty sensible conversation.  In our cultural where being articulate is so valued, I should be so proud (although it really has little to do with me). I am proud and I so enjoy being able to have conversations with my girl and I am excited that her little sister is also showing signs that she will be verbal soon. The thing is that lately I have been noticing the challenges that it brings.  Just for me personally, I know I expect more from her and often I think that she understands something when she actually doesn't. Now because there are just so many things to talk about, she ends up speaking really fast and running her words together in this whole long stream. Then depending on whether people are listening to her or not, she rotates between speaking very softly or in a loud, high voice. So when she speaks softly, people tune her out and can't understand her when she talks loud. Or they think that she is being silly. She gets such a confused look on her little face when people turn away while she is telling them something and I always feel so bad for her. I try to encourage her to slow down and speak clearly with out making a big deal of it because I don't want her to feel embarrassed. I know modeling is important and both Dan and I try to be pretty careful in our speech, although talking to fast and quietly is something that I struggle with. Because I can always understand her, I have been trying to hear her from someone else perspective and if she seems difficult to understand, I will repeat what she says correctly and that seems to be helping. Now I know that I am writing this at the risk of people thinking that I am being paranoid after all she is only two. Granted, she is my first child so I do think about things a lot, but mostly I just don't want to develop poor speech habits that will be harder to adjust later. Not to mention, she gets quite frustrated when she knows what she is saying and others don't.  For those of you who have or have had early talkers, what are some ways that you helped your kids with their speech?