Author: Breanna Barker

Observe. Wait. Listen

  How do children know that they are an important part of a conversation? How can we encourage a child to initiate a conversation? We can Observe, Wait, and Listen (OWL). Observe, Wait, and Listen are important strategies that parents, caregivers, and other communication partners can use to increase engagement, feedback, and allow for a child-lead communication environment.  Observe: During the Observe phase, parents, caregivers, or other communication partners are observing what the child is interested in (e.g., trucks, dinosaurs, slime) and looking for opportunities where the child may communicate. The child might initiate communication independently either through gestures, words, sounds or actions. However, the child might start an activity without stating what they are doing. Through the use of

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What is modeling?

  Modeling occurs when a communication partner uses language or speech relevant to the conversation in a natural environment. There are three types of modeling strategies that can be used to expand language and communication including self-talk, parallel talk, and expansion.   Self-Talk Self-talk occurs when the communication partner (e.g. parent, sibling, guardian, family member) describes what they are doing aloud for the child to hear.    Ex: “Dad is cutting an apple” “ the apple is green” “I’m dunking the apples” “yummy”    Parallel Parallel talk occurs when the communication partner describes what the child is doing aloud.    Ex: “you are pushing the blue play-doh” “cut the play-doh” “squeeze” “oh no the play-doh is green” “roll the play-doh” 

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