Allow the child to choose a friend to play with, encourage games that involve taking turns but have little focus on talking e.g. fishing game or building a tower.
Quiet children often needs lots of reassurance and will look for adult approval. Try to build up the child’s positive self-image with plenty of encouragement.
Avoid applying pressure:
This means that adults should not make statements / ask questions that demand speech, for example:
- “Tell Aunty Val what you got for your birthday”
- “What did you do at school today?”
Instead, trial using the ‘I wonder’ phrase, for example:
- “I’m wondering if you can remember any presents that you got for your birthday”
- “I have been to the shops today; I wonder what you have done”
Looking away from the child, rather than starting expectantly, after you have said an ‘I wonder’ phrase can also reduce the pressure to talk.
Try to discuss this with all adults, to all agree to support them in the same way.
Encourage other forms of communication:
Praise and encourage other forms of communication such as facial expression, gesture and drawing.
Create a positive and supportive atmosphere:
Talk positively about the child and talk positively to the child. For example, praise the child for the good things they can do, and use positive praise around them.