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Talk with Me - Early Language Services

Posted: June 10, 2020

The 2018 National Autism Spectrum Disorder Surveillance System (NASS) Report estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in 66 children in Canada. This includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.

The following "red flags" suggest a child is at risk for autism. Some children without autism have some of these symptoms, and not all children with autism show all of them. That’s why further evaluation is crucial. If your child exhibits any of the following, please see Step 2: Get your child screened.

Possible signs of autism in babies and toddlers:

  • By 6 months, no social smiles or other warm, joyful expressions directed at people
  • By 6 months, limited or no eye contact
  • By 9 months, no sharing of vocal sounds, smiles or other nonverbal communication
  • By 12 months, no babbling
  • By 12 months, no use of gestures to communicate (e.g. pointing, reaching, waving etc.)
  • By 12 months, no response to name when called
  • By 16 months, no words
  • By 24 months, no meaningful, two-word phrases
  • Any loss of any previously acquired speech, babbling or social skills

Possible signs of autism at any age:

  • Avoids eye contact and prefers to be alone
  • Struggles with understanding other people’s feelings
  • Remains nonverbal or has delayed language development
  • Repeats words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
  • Gets upset by minor changes in routine or surroundings
  • Has highly restricted interests
  • Performs repetitive behaviours such as flapping, rocking or spinning
  • Has unusual and often intense reactions to sounds, smells, tastes, textures, lights and/or colors

For more information, visit

If you have concerns after reviewing this page, please contact your healthcare provider or call Talk With Me at 1-888-623-6363.

Posted: June 4, 2020

Play is a child’s work and it’s important for parents to get down and play with their child daily. Mrs Speechie P explains some reasons why. Research also shows...

Adults often try to encourage children to talk by asking them questions such as “What’s that?” or “Say _____”. While answering these types of questions may be fun for some children, you may find that it only works for some time before they lose interest. This could be because they have yet to learn the word or for other reasons.


Setting up a “communication temptation” is a simple way to encourage communication.  When you use communication temptations, you can also use language stimulation strategies such as modelling (saying) new words, waiting, repeating and expanding.

Here are ways you can use communication temptations to encourage children to talk/communicate:


-Keeping things out of reach: Keep certain toys, snacks or art materials out of the child’s reach (in a clear bin or on a shelf) to encourage them to ask for them. If the child points at an object, you can model the word and wait 5-10 seconds to see if they repeat it before giving it to them. If the child does say the word (e.g. “car!”), you can repeat it and expand by adding 1-2 words before giving it to them (e.g. “The BIG car!”).

 -Giving one item at a time: Give your child one item at a time when playing with toys that come in multiples (e.g. crayons, blocks, Mr. Potato Head, etc.). You can also do this when eating a snack that is cut-up in small pieces.  Do not forget to model new words if they point (“more” or “block”), repeat and expand by adding 1-2 words to what they say.

-Sabotage: This is creating a silly problem or situation that the child will notice right away. For example,encourage your child to ask for help by “forgetting” to open their snack or “forgetting” to give them utensils. You can also be silly and give them a glass with no milk in it, give them only part of a toy, or put socks on their hands. This should not be frustrating for the child, but a silly wait to encourage communication. Again, wait to see what they say/do, model new words, and expand on what they say.

Posted: May 11, 2020

Verbs, verbs, verbs! So important for language development! Children typically start using nouns first and then verbs (action words) start to come in.  

Verbs are so important for so many reasons. They carry a lot of meaning in a sentence. They actually allow children to start forming beginning sentences - like mommy GO or RUN doggie!

Many children can say at least 40 verbs by 24 months.  2 year olds who use more verbs have more advanced grammatical skills 6 months later.  Verbs allow children to start building early sentences.

The best part about verbs is they are fun to teach! The nature of the words themselves allow for lots of movement and action.  Have fun and jump and model yourself if you have to!


Hadley, P. A., Rispoli, M., & Hsua, N. (2016). Toddlers’ Verb Lexicon Diversity and Grammatical Outcomes. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 47, 44–58.

Center for Child Language and the CDI Advisory Board. (2013). Cross Linguistic Lexical Norm website.

Posted: May 7, 2020

Let the Children Play: 4 Reasons Why Play is Vital During Coronavirus

"Mom will you play with me?" This phrase can make you feel happy, exhausted or terrified. Or maybe all three at once. LOL For adults making time for play can be challenging but as highlighted in this article it is so very critical for kids brain development. Take some time today to play. The benefits are huge. Embrace these sweet invitations into their play while they are small because they ask less and less often as they grow. 

Sing songs every day!

Singing songs with babies and older children every day can help them develop their speech, language and motor skills.

Sing familiar songs and rhymes while playing together, while in the car or during walks. Add simple songs to your child’s daily routines such as hand washing, bath time and bedtime. To do this, add simple words (e.g. its bath time, bath time, scrub-scrub-scrub scrub-scrub-scrub!) to a melody and voila!

Try these language stimulation tips:

·         Be face-to-face,

·         Observe what your child says/does and respond,

·         Use gestures and movement,

·         Sing slowly,

·         Change the words to familiar songs (ask your child for ideas)


Encourage your child to participate by stopping and waiting at key points in a song to see if they:

·         take their turn to sing

·         ask you to continue the song

·         request you to go “again”               


For more strategies:

For song and rhyme ideas:








Posted: April 20, 2020

Being a good conversational partner starts at birth. Help your babies grow up to be good conversational partners by considering the following:

- Respond to your child. Look at him when he makes noises. Talk to him. Imitate the sounds he makes.

- Laugh when she does. Imitate the faces she makes.

- Teach your baby to imitate actions, like peek-a-boo, clapping, blowing kisses, and waving bye-bye.

These simple things teach our babies how to take turns, which is what we do when talking and having conversation.

Source: ASHA


Posted: April 15, 2020


Labeling is a great, simple way to promote early language development. When babies are young, they don’t know an apple from an orange. Naming things in your environment (home, grocery store, park, etc.) helps give them the vocabulary needed to understand and communicate. So, instead of saying non-specific words, like “this" and "that,” label the objects. This also applies to actions, “jump, run, push, open, swing.”   

The best time to name is when your child is ENGAGED with what you are doing (for example, during daily routines like dressing and bathtime) or when you are FOLLOWING THEIR LEAD (for example, during playtime).

REPEAT the words often. Children, especially those with language delays, need to hear words MANY times before they say them on their own. During play or daily routines, try to repeat words multiple times in an interaction. It is best to repeat the same word 3-5 times during each turn in an activity.

For example: child playing with toy cars (BEEP is target word)
Parent: (respond to what child is doing and use words to match) “Beep! The car goes beep! Beep! Beep!”
Child: (starts pushing the car)
Parent: (respond by commenting and repeating the word) “Beep beep! The car is moving! Beep!”)
Child: (pushes car more)
Parent: (wait to give child a chance to respond)
Child: “Be” (or no response)
Parent: (label word again) “Beep! Beep! Beep!”
Child: (pushes car more)
Parent: (waits)
Child: “Beep!”
Parent: (add on) “Yes! Beep! The car is so fast! The car says beep beep!” 

NOTE: This is not a time to focus on them imitating or repeating the word.  We never want to put pressure on the child by telling them to say a word (e.g., "Say, BEEP!").  If they say the word on their own, that’s great and cause to celebrate, but remember to reduce the pressure. Children need to hear words A LOT and labeling & repeating words will help your child understand words which then leads to talking. Children need to understand a word or action before they can spontaneously say it on their own.

Try it out at home: NAME IT and REPEAT and REPEAT some more!


Posted: January 15, 2020

The Early Childhood Team would like to hear about your act of kindness. Drop your submissions in the mailbox outside the Early Childhood Room at your school (King Street, Max Aitken and Gretna Green)

Posted: December 9, 2019

On November 20th the Family Resource Centre in Campbellton held an Open House at their new location on 78 Victoria Street to coincide with National Child Day.  The FRC invited community partners from the Campbellton Centennial Library, Talk With Me, Parle-moi and others to celebrate the occasion...


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Added: Thu, Jun 4 2020


Post date: March 13, 2019
Post date: November 22, 2018