Q:

My son will be 3 next month. He is in an early intervention program and works with a speech therapist twice a month. I think he talks fine; however, my mother and others feel he is difficult to understand. He loves to watch educational television. Will listening to TV help with his speech? -- Uncertain

A:

Your son is being seen by a speech therapist. This person should have solid suggestions about ways you can help him improve his speech. In fact, therapists often ask parents to do some speech activities with their children.

Having your preschooler sit in front of the TV is not going to turn him into a good speaker or even listener. For either to occur, there needs to be interaction between speaker and listener. Here are some of our suggestions for helping all young children become good speakers: Talk to them while doing housework, driving in the car, shopping in the grocery store, or whenever you are together. As soon as you get even a glimmer of response from your child, respond enthusiastically so he knows that you are interested in what he is saying and he will be encouraged to speak even more. Because young children learn best through direct experiences, you will want him to have a wide variety of experiences to increase his vocabulary. This remains true through the school years.