Hesperian Health Guides

Preparing to talk

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HealthWiki > Helping Children Who Are Blind > Chapter 6: Communication > Preparing to talk

To help your child send messages with his body (gestures)

a girl speaking while she points a child's finger toward his mouth.
Where’s your mouth?
This child is learning that pointing sends a message.
Try playing games that use gestures.
Explain what different gestures mean.
a boy speaking while he lifts a small child's arms.
Don’t just cry. If you want to be picked up, Barasa, raise your arms like this.
the boy holding and speaking to the child.
Good going, Barasa, that’s it!

To prepare your child for learning to talk

a woman speaking to a child while pouring water from a bucket.
I’m washing the floor, Kam San. You can hear the water splash when it hits the floor.

Talk about any work or activities you are doing and how you are doing them.

Here is another example:

a boy speaking to a small child while they play together.
Now let’s pull the mud...
HCWB Ch6 Page 51-2.png
...and poke it...
HCWB Ch6 Page 51-3.png
...then push it.
Tobar’s brother is using words to describe a game that Tobar likes to play.

a woman speaking to a child while holding his arm.
Now give me your other hand.
If you use the words for body parts and common objects over and over in your everyday activities, your child will learn what the words mean before he can say them.

Talk about things you do and about everyday objects.

A child who has difficulty seeing cannot see how other people express their feelings, like fear or joy. He needs help understanding what feelings are. Encourage him to feel your face and his own face to learn how feelings are shown there.

a child crawling toward a clothesline while a man works nearby.
the man speaking to the crying child, who got caught in a sheet.
That scared you, didn’t it?
Talk about feelings and emotions that you or your child experience.