SMIRPS

When you’re speaking with a small child — any child, with or without a hearing loss — remember to use SMIRPS:

Simple

Meaningful

Interesting

Repetitive

Phrases (and)

Sentences

So, even though there are days where I’d rather pull out my hair than say things like,“Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?” or “Knock, knock, knock… ooooopen!” or“More juice please?” or “Turn the page!” these often-repeated phrases that are of high interest to the child are crucial for building early language skills.  Though the child may not be able to understand every word, and their pronunciation may be unintelligible to anyone but a parent’s or therapist’s ear, repetition of these phrases is really more about their MEANING and establishing basic turn-taking and conversational skills.  This helps to the child to establish communicative intent.  Children learn that their words have power, and that by using their voices and their language skills, they can create changes in their environment.  Try it!

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