Teach Your Baby To Talk Early

Happy Monday!

Back to The Grind

It feels like forever since school has been in session here!  First there was Christmas break and then Snowmageddon 2014.  At least the snow is starting to melt!

So how was your weekend?  Did you do anything fantastic?

I enjoyed a Starbucks caramel latte, took a bath, and climbed in bed around 10 pm last night.  That was seriously heaven.  Do you realize that I usually go to bed around 1:00!!!?  I woke up so refreshed and ready to chug my coffee!

This weekend I had a lot of fun playing with Quinn.  She started crawling and I had her talking like crazy!

I love teaching her and using my techniques from my previous job as an ABA Therapist.  I am going to share with you what we ABA Therapists call “manding.”
teach a baby to talk

What is manding in Applied Behavior Analysis?

A child who is nonverbal or just starting to learn communication would start with pointing or reaching for objects, or exchanging pictures to indicate that he/she wants something.  Once this skill is mastered, a child can learn to request objects or actions by speaking.

Of course, not every child starts saying full words or sentences, but could begin practicing verbal approximations.  For example: a baby might say, “gah” for “grapes.”  In order for Quinn to be successful and learn that talking gets her what she wants, I choose words and sounds that I know she is capable of making.  Currently, those sounds are, “mah/muh,” “buh/bah,” “guh/gah,” “tah,” and “puh/pah.”

I’m not going to get into all of the logistics of verbal operants, error correction, how to prompt, prompt delay, prompt fading, etc but at least you can see how to teach your baby that words mean something and how to imitate you to practice.

**(ABA NERD ALERT-Ideally, a child would learn to request with an item out of view and without any adult cue to request such as, “What do you want?” or “Say, ball.”  ANY adult prompts make this an intraverbal rather than a mand.  In a therapeutic setting, my trials and videos would need to be more clinical and follow the correct procedures I just mentioned to get the best results!)**

Okay.  So let me show you!

Quinn uses “puh” for puffs

baby manding for puffs

Here she is using “guh” for go!  I also paired the word with the sign which is just pointing forward.  The first trial, she does not make the correct sound, so I repeat the myself and make her shape it.

shaping baby manding

Now she has it down!

baby manding go

Quinn shapes her speech for access to my coffee cup.  She is a mini-me!  WILL DO ANYTHING FOR COFFEE!

coffee shaped

Here she tries to say “banana” by saying, “buh-mah-mah.”

baby manding for banana

Quinn also wanted her ball, but this backfired!  Baby blooper!

baby manding for ball

Now you can try this with your baby! You will notice that he or she watches your mouth with so much focus.  Of course, every child reaches milestones and is able to try new things at different times so don’t be discouraged if your baby is not participating.  Keep talking and teaching him or her that each toy or activity is called something special.  Babies love to listen!

Have you tried getting your baby to talk?

What does your baby love to say?

Have you had any baby bloopers?


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