If something is well-known about children, it is that they tend to ask many questions.
Most parents take it for granted, but answering these questions is the secret behind every successful conversation and a key milestone in every child’s language development.
Along with the traditional Wh- questions, speech-language pathologists stress the importance of integrating How questions for speech therapy within treatment plans.
But what exactly are Wh- and How questions? And how could you, as a parent, benefit from such fun practices to promote comprehension and language skills?
- What Are Wh- and How Questions?
- How Questions for Speech Therapy: Different Types
- Tips and Tricks When Asking How Questions
- Additional Resources To Enhance Language Activities
- Help Your Child Meet Milestones With How Questions!
What Are Wh- and How Questions?
Any type of question you may ask will fall into one of the many categories of Wh- questions.
Commonly used within classroom activities, speech therapy sessions, and at home, you probably already are familiar with them.
Wh- questions all constitute important milestones in language development for children.
They help them acquire crucial information and background knowledge for improving their conversation and expressive language skills.
When, Who, Where, and What are basic questions requiring direct and concrete answers.
On the other hand, Why and How are more complex questions, requiring higher verbal skills, a good understanding of the social context, and more developed critical thinking.
Although some question types could be annoying, their absence may indicate some type of language disorder.
How Questions for Speech Therapy: Different Types
In speech therapy, you may divide How questions based on what language concepts are involved.
It’s also a good idea to consider how much complex thinking is needed to answer the questions correctly and in complete sentences.
These are the most concrete questions. The answers would simply be either a number or a quantity terminology such as “a few” and “a bunch.”
Questions people would ask the child generally begin with “How much…” or “How many….”
This category of questions will involve the child’s five different senses and often result in a descriptive answer.
It relies more on the context of speech and gives information about the child’s surroundings.
Such How questions are more difficult to answer, as they often need the child to infer a range based on their understanding.
Intensities, feelings, and severity are all advanced concepts and figurative language needed to answer such abstract questions.
These types of questions are answered by enumeration, listing, or sequentially explaining a series of events involved within specific processes.
A good practice for sequencing not only strengthens children’s language and social skills but also allows them to develop their logic at a deeper level.
Tips and Tricks When Asking How Questions
Even as a parent, your role in reinforcing the regular practice of asking and answering How questions are just as important as the speech therapy sessions.
The child might go to the speech therapist only once a week, which is not enough practice time.
For therapy to be most effective, you should practice speech therapy activities at home every day for at least five to 10 minutes and create more practice opportunities.
However, it may be frustrating for a parent when their child does not give the correct answer, misses the main topic, or fails to comprehend more hypothetical and critical thinking questions.
In that case, you can keep the conversation rolling by asking follow-up questions.
If a child struggles with one type of question, do not change it. Instead, expand the original question so that your child understands what’s expected as an answer.
Refrain from generalizing, and stick to clear, specific, and oriented questions.
Abstract questions tend to confuse the child, while simple Wh– questions about concrete events in everyday life are easier concepts to grasp.
Lastly, you must constantly remind yourself that speech and language therapy is a gradual learning curve.
Children are unique and will therefore meet developmental goals at different ages.
Additional Resources To Enhance Language Activities
Just because language therapy techniques provide standardized tests and questions does not necessarily mean you are bound to generic question cards.
Instead of sounding redundant by repeating the same two to three Wh- questions, make better use of your child’s practice time and attention span by boosting creativity up a notch.
One way of doing so is taking inspiration from an interactive book that can drive your daily conversations forward in the most natural and exciting ways.
On the other hand, if you think your child experiences speech problems, here are a couple of speech therapy tools you could utilize:
Speech-language pathologists working with children use this complete guide to help them assess, analyze, diagnose, and set goals for therapy.
As a parent, you can use it to learn about the complex concepts of the different types of speech and sound disorders and what to expect from your child’s therapy sessions.
With a total of 16 chapters, you will have access to a comprehensive course on children’s speech so you can give your child what he needs.
The TalkTools Sensi Therapist Kit is a patented set of oral motor speech therapy tools you can use during your child’s speech learning journey.
Designed to stimulate the mouth, it comes with 14 tips you attach to the base and use to improve your little one’s speech.
In addition to speech, this kit also helps children improve sensory skills and learn how to use their facial muscles.
This speech therapy product includes an easy-to-understand TalkTools Sensi manual.
Help Your Child Meet Milestones With How Questions!
It’s only natural for every child to go through a questioning and wondering stage while growing up.
Without asking elaborate questions and getting some answers, they wouldn’t be able to gather enough information about the world they live in.
Instead of avoiding these situations, it would be wiser to take advantage.
The questions may sometimes be annoying, but they are an opportunity worth shooting for.
You now know more about how to use How questions for speech therapy to improve communication, reading comprehension, and conversation skills.
So, go ahead and ask questions and let your child answer!