Late Talkers: How to help your child

If you have been asked to watch the videos below by your Speech and Language Therapist, please see the ‘what next?’ section at the bottom of this page.

Typical Language Development

Please watch the video below to find out more about typical language development in children.

Special Times

It can be difficult to remember to use all the strategies below all the time so we suggest setting up a ‘Special Time’.  

Special time is:

  • A time for you and your child to play together and should ideally happen for 5-10 minutes everyday. 
  • A time when your child can choose the activity and is in control of how they play within that activity.
  • Your child's special time with you, so try to use a room / area where you won’t be disturbed.  
  • In the language you feel most comfortable in, you don’t have to do your special times in English.

Set up a daily special time with your child, pick at least one strategy from those below to focus on and have a go! You can use our  Special Times Record Sheet.pdf [pdf] 10KB to record your Special Times.

Here's further information about how to set-up your Special Time:  Special Times Explanation Sheet.pdf [pdf] 350KB

Strategy 1: Following your child's lead

Please see the video below and read our Following your child's lead explanation sheet.pdf [pdf] 270KB

Strategy 2: Asking Fewer Questions

Please see the video below and read our Asking fewer questions explanation sheet.pdf [pdf] 255KB


Strategy 3: Commenting

Please see the video below and our Commenting explanation sheet.pdf [pdf] 311KB

Strategy 4: Adding on a word

Repeat what your child says and add one or two words to make the sentence longer. This will help extend your child’s vocabulary and show them how to join words together. For example: 


When a child says…. 

You can say… 

‘uh’ and shows you hands 



‘Wash hands’ 

‘Wash hands’ 

‘You’re washing your hands’ 

‘Wash hands soap’ 

‘Yes, you’re washing your hands with soap’ 

 For further information read our  Adding on a word explanation sheet.pdf [pdf] 257KB

Additional ideas: Reading

Please watch the video below and read our Reading with your child information sheet.pdf [pdf] 125KB


Additional Videos

Please watch the videos below to see some of the strategies discussed above in real life examples. The videos are filmed from the child’s point of view.  

What's next?

If you have been asked to watch the videos above by your Speech and Language Therapist you should have a follow-up video call booked in. Please complete daily special times in between now and your follow-up appointment. Before your appointment you will be asked to share a video of your special time via a secure link. In your appointment the Speech and Language Therapist will support you with any problem solving or questions you may have about the strategies in the videos and give you some ideas specific to your child. For the appointment please could you make sure you have some toys that your child enjoys playing with in the room.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Speech and Language Therapy team on 0300 555 5965 or email

As a patient

As a patient, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support. 

Patient Advice and Liaison service  Contact the Trust