Speech Corner – Promoting Persistence in your child

Promoting PERSISTENCE in your child

When your child continues trying to complete a task, even when it is difficult or boring- this is called persistence. It’s important for children to understand that the harder they try, the better they will get at doing that activity. Teaching your child to be persistent at an early age has many long-term benefits, especially as demands increase in later schooling. Encourage your child to keep at it and not to give up!

You can help your child to be persistent by encouraging them to:

  • Finish an activity, such as a puzzle, even if they ask for help & are struggling
  • Not give up too quickly when playing a difficult game
  • Keep trying when learning something new
  • Finish a chore without complaining about how boring it is


Remember to praise your child when they show persistence and try to be specific, so they know exactly what behaviour you are encouraging…

  • “I’m proud of you for working so hard.”
  • “Great job, you didn’t give up even when you found it tricky!”
  • “Remember, the more you practise the better you become!”
  • “Good for you! You finished and didn’t give up, even though you found it a bit boring.”

(Adapted from: “You Can Do It!” a Social-Emotional Learning program by Michael E. Bernard, 2004)

Speech Pathology Team

Speech Corner – Developmental Language Disorder Awareness Day!

Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) Awareness Day!

Parents, teachers, and speech pathologists celebrated DLD Awareness Day on Friday 15th October with purple light-up events around the world.

Developmental Language Disorder involves difficulties with talking and/or understanding language. DLD affects 7% of children, which is about 1 in every 14 children. The students at West Coast Language Development Centre (LDC) have DLD. DLD is often misdiagnosed or misinterpreted as poor listening and attention, or poor behaviour. Support from speech pathologists and teachers makes a real difference, so early identification is important.

On the eve of DLD Awareness Day parents and speech pathologists climbed Matagarup Bridge to help raise awareness of Developmental Language Disorder. The event was organised by one of West Coast LDCs Kindergarten parents, and Matagarup Bridge was lit up in purple for the occasion.

More information about DLD and DLD Awareness Day can be found on the Raising Awareness of Developmental Language Disorder website (https://radld.org/).








Speech Pathology Team

Speech Corner – Description


The ability to describe something is an important skill for your child to learn.

Using describing words to talk about colour, size, shape, function and other characteristics can deepen your child’s knowledge of words and how they are organised. Using describing words also gives the listener a clear picture in their head so they can visualise the object being described. Children first need to develop describing words in speaking and can then use them in written work such as writing stories later on in school.

Some strategies:

Play “I spy” – instead of giving the first letter of the word, gives clues such as the category, colour, size, function, shape and parts they have. (e.g. “I spy with my little eye… something that is a type of fruit, it is red, it is round and smooth, and is for eating (apple)”).

20 questions – describe a hidden picture or object, and the other person asks questions about its characteristics. (e.g. toy car “Is it a toy? Is it big? Does it make noises? Does it have wheels?” etc.).

Helping out with jobs – Let your child help when putting away shopping or hanging out the washing. Ask your child to give you items based on a simple description (e.g. Pass me something small, in a jar, and it’s red (jam)”).

Speech Pathology Team

Speech Corner – Sequencing


Most things we do in life tend to follow a usual order – washing the car, feeding the dog, making a cake. Children need to learn these typical sequences, and how to put them together in order, from first to last. Retelling a sequence can also help your child in their story-telling.

Here are some simple things you can do at home to support your child’s sequencing:

  • Model sequence words – model words like first, next, then & last through daily activities such as getting dressed, doing the washing; making a sandwich etc.
  • Let your child perform a task while you tell them what to do; then get your child to tell you what to do – do it exactly as they say; even if it’s out of order.
  • Tell your child a story and then discuss the story in the sequence that it happened. Ask your child to draw the story in picture squares to show the correct sequence (i.e. First, next, and then, at the end etc.)
  • Retelling a Sequence – talk about each step before and as you are doing it. When you have finished doing the activity, ask your child to tell you how you did/made it – or ask them to re-tell the steps to someone else so that they can make one too, emphasising the connecting words like first, next, finally.

 Example – ‘Making a Honey Sandwich’                                                                 

1) First you need to get 2 slices of bread, a jar of honey, plate, knife and margarine.

2) Next you spread margarine on the bread, with the knife.

3) Then you spread honey on the bread.

4) Next you put the other slice of bread on top and cut the sandwich in half.

5) Finally you can eat the honey sandwich!

Speech Pathology Team

Speech Corner – Pronouns


A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun (e.g. he, she, his, her, myself etc.). Children with Developmental Language Disorder often have difficulty with pronouns. Pronoun errors can include;

  • “Me want to go” instead of “I want to go”
  • “He is playing” instead of “she is playing”
  • “Him hurt himself” instead of “he hurt himself”

Here are some strategies you can use to help your child use the correct pronouns;

  • Provide a good model for your child by using pronouns in conversation and games
  • Use pronouns when describing pictures in story books (g. “look, she is jumping! She is jumping really high”)
  • If your child makes a pronoun error, repeat back what they said with the correct pronoun (g. Child – “he is playing”, Adult – “she is playing. She is playing soccer. I think she likes playing soccer.). Emphasise the pronoun and model its use as many times as possible.

Speech Pathology Team