Match and Model

Believe it or not, one of the fastest ways to help your late talker bloom is to make small changes in the way you speak to him or her. Making these changes is a lot trickier than it seems, so don’t worry if you find it hard at first. This is something you, your child, and I will work on together during our sessions.


Matching (or copying) what your child says and does encourages him or her to match what you say and do, because it lets him or her know that you’re listening and paying attention. Here are some suggestions:

  • Make it easier for your child to see your face by getting down on the floor and playing with him or her there
  • When your child pushes her toy car and says “b-b-b”, you push your toy car and say “vroom“
  • Take turns putting toys into a bin, blocks on a Lego tower, or putting clothes in a laundry basket.




Modeling is repeating what your child says, but saying it correctly. Without telling your child that he or she is wrong, modeling lets you teach the correct way to pronounce a sound or word. Here are some ways you can use modeling instead of correcting:

  • When your child says the word “wawa” instead of “water”, model the correct word by saying “Water? Here is some water!”
  • If your child whines or grunts when he or she wants to be picked up, model the words that could have been used. Follow this up by saying “Up. You want up. Up please” and picking him or her up.