Archive | Development

Stuttering In Children – Causes and Treatments

Stuttering in children is normal, especially those between two and five years old. This happens because they are still learning to talk and construct words. Stuttering is a form of dysfluency – a disruption in the flow of speech. Generally, it does not cause speech problems. But, it is essential for parents to know its causes as well as the treatments available to make sure that the stuttering does not affect the toddler’s self-esteem.



Stuttering can run in families. If you, your husband, your mother or a close family member also stutters or stuttered, then most likely your toddler will acquire it.


A toddler’s childhood can greatly affect his development. Stammering can be caused by stressful events such as divorce, welcoming a new baby, moving to a new house, starting preschool or death.

Speech Problems

Another cause of stammering is speech and language problems. Young children may stumble over their words because their brains have a different way of processing words which results to a problem with the way the brain’s messages interact with the muscles and body parts necessary for talking.

Family Dynamics

Although not yet proven, it is commonly believed that stuttering is attributed to high family expectations and a fast-paced lifestyle.


Create Opportunities For Talking

Most often, toddlers stutter because they are excited, angry or scared. Wait for your toddler to calm down and then engage him in conversations without distractions (no TV, computer, etc.). For example, you can talk with your little one during dinner, when giving him a bath or before tucking him to bed. Pleasant, stress-free conversations will help your toddler process his words better.

Do Not Be Too Critical

Pressuring your toddler with his speech will only make it worse. Avoid teasing, reacting pessimistically, correcting him or finishing his sentences every time your little one stutters. Instead, repeat the sentence fluently yourself so that he knows you understand him and hear how it is supposed to sound.

Speak Slowly

Each time you talk to your toddler, keep a calm, pleasant expression on your face, smile and then speak slowly and clearly. This will help him mimic your speech pattern, basically teaching him fluency and to slow down his own speech.

Do Fun Activities Together

Have fun together. Do enjoyable activities that focus on speech. Play charades. Build blocks. Read books. Role play. Sing a song. Your child may feel a little insecure because he is not able to talk straight. Thus, making him feel loved will give him reassurance that nothing is wrong with him, which is a very good confidence booster.

Speech Therapy

If you feel your toddler is a true stutterer (repetition of words become excessive, vocal tension, has facial and body movements along with the stammering and refuses to talk for fear of stuttering), it is best to talk to a speech therapist. A speech therapy program can help improve your toddler’s language while teaching techniques to stop the anxiety related with the condition.

Watching your toddler stammer is frustrating. But, do keep in mind that this is a normal phase in his speech development and he will outgrow it no time. As long as you are there to support him, everything will be fine.

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Signs and Treatment of Developmental Delays In Toddlers

Toddler development follows a timeline. Children are expected to achieve certain developmental milestones by a certain age. However, developmental delays are unavoidable. Here is a guide to help you spot the signs as well as some advice for treating them.

Cognitive Warning Signs

Cognitive developmental delay can be caused by a learning disability, contact with harmful elements (alcohol, toxin, lead, etc.) and hereditary problems. Warning signs include – inability to follow simple directions, does not point at objects, wave, imitate sounds and search for objects that are out of sight and failure to identify the function of common objects like a telephone, spoon or toothbrush.


A specialist may prescribe medications to help treat behaviour problems. Your toddler can also undergo an educational intervention to help him develop specific cognitive skills.

Language and Speech Warning Signs

Language and speech problems are the most common type of developmental delay. This delay may be because a toddler is autistic, exposed to a multilingual family (family who speaks more than one language), has a learning disability, middle ear infection which results to loss of hearing or dysarthria (difficulty with the muscles controlling speech).

A toddler with this developmental delay cannot respond to loud noises, jabber and laugh, use sounds and identify his own name, have trouble expressing himself like waving, pointing and imitating (communicative intent), difficulty uttering several consonant sounds by 12 months and fails to say at least one word by 15 months.


Enrolling a toddler in a special education program can help him overcome his errors in grammar, pronunciation and verbal communication. With the help of a speech pathologist, you will be given guidelines that will help you easily administer these techniques at home. Getting treatment for middle ear infection also helps treat this impediment as well as encouraging make-believe play, talking, singing and reading to your toddler every day.

Motor and Physical Warning Signs

Premature toddlers may not develop muscles at the same rate unlike full-term toddlers. Warning signs of motor and physical developmental delay are – inability to support head, reach and hold objects, roll over, sit up without assistance and walk by 18 months.


Your toddler’s doctor can recommend certain techniques you can practice at home to encourage more physical activity. He may also need physical therapy that includes specialized exercises to improve the tone and agility of his muscles.

Social and Emotional Warning Signs

Generally, behavioural problems occur before a child starts school. This may be caused by detached and ineffective parenting, cognitive problems, autism, Asperger’s disorder (condition that affects social and communication skills) and Rett syndrome (brain disorder).

Signs that your toddler might have a delayed social and emotional development include – inability to make eye contact, perform weird mannerisms like rocking, staring blankly and repeated hand twisting, putting hands into the mouth and clapping. Aggressive behaviours such as biting, hitting, kicking and frequent tantrums as well as lack of interest in making friends and unusual attachment to a parent or severe separation anxiety are also warnings signs of behavioural delay.


Play therapy is the best way to treat this developmental delay. Exposing your toddler to children his age by holding play dates, enrolling him in a class that will hone his interests, keeping your cool instead of reacting to your toddler’s outbursts with yelling and spanking, listening and responding also helps him deal with this delay.

Keep in mind that toddlers do not develop at the same pace. Some are early bloomers while others develop at a later time. But, it is helpful to be aware of the signs of developmental delays in children so one can take immediate action.

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How To Overcome Shyness In Toddlers

Some toddlers are extroverts while others are introverts. If your toddler belongs to the latter, warming up to people can be difficult for him. But, with your support, he can grow into a confident individual. Here are some tips on how to overcome shyness in toddlers.

Do Not Attach A Label

It is best not to describe your toddler as “shy” or “timid” when you are talking to him or to other people. He may hear you say it and take it as a criticism. The label will likely stick to his mind and he will come to accept it as a fact which will only increase his timidity or make it his excuse to avoid uncomfortable social situations. Just try to think that he takes his time to get comfortable with people he does not know.

Do Not Belittle

Nothing crushes a toddler’s self-esteem faster than hurtful words and comparison. Never compare him to a more sociable child, tease or express your frustration with his lack of social skills. You will make him feel bad and damage his confidence which will only make his shyness worse.

Increase Exposure

Encourage your little one to associate with others, but do it gently so as not to overwhelm him. Set up play dates or a backyard party and invite a small group of kids his age or children younger than him (so he will not feel frightened). Go to the park or to your local zoo and invite your neighbour’s child to join you. Make more trips to the playground. This will allow your shy toddler to interact with other kids by playing in the sandbox, sitting next to someone on the swing or waiting in line for the slide. These interactions will encourage your toddler to talk to other kids. It may take some time for him to warm up, but the more exposed he is to people, the more comfortable he will become.

Hone His Talents

Know your toddler’s interests. Does he love playing the piano? Being in the water? Doing arts and crafts? Then enroll him in a piano, swimming or art class. If your toddler is around children who share the same interests, he will feel more at ease, making it easier for him to mingle with other people.


Practice at home. Maybe his teddy is in the park and teddy sees children playing tag, he wants to join but is scared to approach them. Ask your little one what he should do and make suggestions as well. Role playing is a great way for toddlers to learn things, especially people skills.

Be Compassionate

Ask your toddler why he is anxious. Is it because he is afraid the other children will tease him or will not like him? Share your own childhood stories. Tell him about the time when you went to a birthday party with your mom and how scared you were because you do not know everyone in the party. Tell him what you did and how you made friends with the other kids in the party. Assure him that his feeling is normal and that even the outgoing child in the park gets shy. This will make him understand that everything is okay, he is fine and he can overcome his shyness.


Give praise each time your toddler makes an attempt to reach out. He has to know you appreciate his efforts. If you catch him waving at a child when he is about to leave the playground, say “That is a good wave. You made the child smile.”

Try not to worry too much. Most often, a toddler’s shyness is just a phase or his way of adjusting to the things and the people around him. Just relax, be patient and focus on helping him feel comfortable with himself, and in no time, your toddler can face the world confidently.

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Ways To Help Your Child Make Friends

Having friends is an important part of your toddler’s life. It is also a way for him to develop social skills. If your toddler is a little shy, it would help to have mommy and daddy lend a hand. Here are some tips on how to help your child gain and keep friends.

Arrange Regular Play Dates

Start by inviting one or two toddlers your child knows to your home. They can be around his age or a little older (the older child might initiate a little more). Play dates give an introvert toddler a good start for a social life. Just make sure to keep play dates short, 1 to 2 hours is sufficient time for them to interact with each other. You do not want to overstimulate them as they may start to bicker.

Provide A Lot of Fun Games and Activities

Start a fun play date by planning games and activities for your toddler and his playmates. This will make your little one more comfortable and confident. Know their common interests so you can come up with activities they will enjoy. For instance, if your toddler and his playmates love drawing, then provide them lots of drawing materials. Once they are done, they can take turns explaining their masterpieces. Doing something they love together is the fastest way for your toddler to make friends.

Get Involved

Do not just leave the children to play by themselves and hope it all works out. You can oversee a craft project while letting them do as much on their own as possible. Be there in case an argument takes place, if they need a change of activity or if they stop playing together. Your assistance can make toddlers feel more at ease with each other.

Schedule An Outing

Encourage your toddler to play on the playground so he can mingle with other children. Invite your toddler’s classmate to have ice cream at the mall or go to a park. Or, organize a family trip and invite your friend and her child for picnic or spend the morning at the zoo and then have lunch together.

Enroll Your Toddler In A Class or Club

Participating in extracurricular activities is a great opportunity for your toddler to hone his social skills. Find an activity or a sport your youngster is interested in and sign him up. For instance, if he loves playing soccer, then enroll him in a soccer class. This will allow your toddler to meet and interact with other children who share his interests.

Be Your Toddler’s Playmate

Play with your toddler on a daily basis. This allows you to stimulate interaction while getting to know your toddler’s strengths and weaknesses. He may love drawing but may struggle completing puzzles. This will give you an idea what activities to include and exclude in a play date.

Teach Your Toddler How To Listen

It is very easy to talk yet very hard to keep quiet and listen. Explain to your toddler that making friends takes time and effort. Tell him to give someone time to talk about himself and that he should listen when a person is talking. Also, remind your toddler that when he talks about himself, he should not boast nor exaggerate.

The art of making friends is tricky. But you can help your toddler by taking small, gentle step that promote positive interaction without making him feel like he is being pressured to make friends. Focus on giving him behaviours, values and experiences that make him attractive to other children.

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Simple Games That Can Boost Toddler Development

Playtime is an imperative part of toddler development. For it is during this time when toddlers discover and understand themselves, the people around them and the world. Here are some fun toddler games to try.

Hide and Seek

Just as he liked peek-a-boo as a baby, your toddler will love to play simple games of hide and seek. Take turns hiding under the bed sheets or use a pillow to cover your face. To make it more exciting, you can gently prod your little one as he hides. When he is using a big bath towel to cover himself, say “I wonder if this is a leg or an arm?”. Games like this help educate your toddler that just because he cannot see something, it does not mean it is not there.

Let’s Pretend

Toddlers love to mimic their mommy and daddy. Play a game of make believe or do a role play by dressing each other up as a doctor, dentist or construction worker, using finger puppets, big cardboard boxes to become houses, trains and planes, toy gadgets (e.g. telephone and remote control) and housekeeping items (e.g. toddler-sized mop or vacuum, wooden toy tool kit, etc.). Do not forget to talk about what you are doing as this will help your toddler with his language skills. Do different facial expressions (be happy, sad, confused or worried) as well so he can learn about feelings and emotions while developing his imagination.

Stop Dance

Play interactive songs that allow your baby to do particular actions such as stomping like an elephant, tiptoeing so he will not disturb a sleeping lion or hopping like a kangaroo. After a few seconds of dancing, hit the pause button and make sure your toddler stays still, and resume playing the music. Not only is this game fun and easy, but it also enhances your toddler’s imagination, develops his sense of rhythm and builds up his stamina.

Clap Me Happy

By now, your little one can hold his hands open, but it may take some time before he can clap on his own. Clap them together for him or let him hold your hands while you tap them together. Sit him facing you on your lap or on the floor and sing clapping songs like Pat-A-Cake, Miss Lucy Had A Baby and Miss Mary Mack. These will improve his language skills as well as his hand-eye coordination.

Catch The Ball

Toddlers love playing with balls. Use a soft, foam ball to play catch. Both of you sit on the floor facing each other with your legs apart and toes touching, and start rolling the ball backward and forward to each other. This game promotes arm muscle strength and dexterity.

Block Party

Use his stacking toys to make simple patterns such as a square or a rectangle and encourage him to copy it. Help him stack all the blocks together to build a tower or allow him to make his own pattern. Sorting games will help boost your toddler’s problem-solving skills.

Little Treasure Hunter

Spend some time outdoors and give your toddler a short and exciting excursion. Go for a walk together and take his toy pail with you. Let your toddler collect small objects that interest him such as a huge stone, pine cone and dried leaves he found in the park or some seashells and sand he gathered during a trip to the beach. He will enjoy filling and dumping items in the bucket and at the same time, he gets to practice his hand movements. Being outdoors exposes your toddler to different places which helps him learn new concepts and vocabulary.

Make the most out of your toddler’s playtime by playing these simple games that help enrich his development. Both you and your toddler will have so much fun to even notice that he is learning.

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Self-care – How Parents Can Hone This Physical Development In Toddlers

Physical development means learning to take good care of oneself. Self-care is an important part of a toddlers’ physical growth, hence, they need to learn it as early as possible. Here are some ways how parents can help their children achieve it.

Set A Good Example

Be your toddler’s role model. Children learn things based on what they see. Take advantage of this by modelling positive hygiene behaviour. Take care of yourself, keep yourself well-groomed at all times and follow the same healthy practices you want to teach your toddler. Make sure every family member participates so there is consistency. Once he sees everyone doing the same things, it will be easy for him to mimic these actions and ultimately, make them a part of his daily routine.


Actions and words go hand in hand. Support your actions by discussing the importance of self-care to your toddler. Do not just say “Do not touch the toilet bowl because it is dirty.”. Be specific. Lay down the facts in front of him. Talk to your toddler about germs - what they are, how germs can affect his health and what he can do to prevent germs from making him sick. Discuss the importance of washing hands, brushing teeth, sleeping early, fruits and vegetables and so on.

Use Gadgets

The secret to keeping your toddler occupied is to surround him with toys. Fill the tub with toys like rubber ducks, ships, toy trucks or a bath toy set to make bath time more fun. If you have trouble getting him to brush his teeth, buy him an hourglass sand timer or a colorful egg timer. This will give your little one something to focus on and anticipate while he waits for the sand to run out or for the timer to go off while at the same time making sure he brushes each row of teeth long enough. Or, you could also get him an electric toothbrush. He will love the vibrating motion it creates in his mouth. A toothpaste that has your toddler’s favorite cartoon character on it also helps.

Play A Game

Trick your toddler into completing his daily self-care routine by playing a game. Toddlers love games so think of ways how you can incorporate them to make things more fun. Help your toddler wash his hands the right way by asking him to sing a song as he washes like “Happy Birthday” and “Row, Row Your Boat”. Take turns brushing each other’s teeth. Brush his teeth and have him brush your teeth after. Read him a storybook about bath time while he is in the tub or play his favorite children’s song so you can sing together while you are scrubbing him.

Be Patient

Learning a new skill takes time so be flexible. If learning to wash his hands means a messy bathroom for a few days, or if eating on his own means staining his shirt, or if getting dressed on his own means finding a room filled with clothes everywhere, just go with the flow. Remember, practice makes perfect and the more he practices, the better he will be.

Reward Him

As always, encouragement is key. Each time your toddler tries doing something new, tell him you are proud of the effort he made whether or not he succeeds at it. Create a chart where you can list down self-care tasks he needs to do. For every task he completes, put a sticker beside it. Once he has collected 5 stickers, give him a special prize like eating at his favorite restaurant, watching a movie or a new toy. This will make him feel good motivating your toddler to repeat his actions.

Learning proper personal hygiene does not happen overnight. It takes practice. While it is not an easy thing to teach self-care skills to your toddler, you can outsmart him with the help of the tips listed above.

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Anxiety Disorders In Children - How Parents Can Help

Coping up with life’s challenges is not easy. It becomes more difficult when it involves kids. Every child worries now and then, but some are constantly agitated. Anxiety disorders in children places a major wall in their development. The following are tried and tested tips to help parents manage this attack.

Stay Calm

In order to effectively help your toddler, first, you have to be calm. Panicking will only make the problem worse. Yes, it is not easy to stay composed and most parents feel the same way. But, when you keep your cool and not let pressure rule the situation, you are able to think in a clear and sensible manner. Furthermore, you help your toddler relax instead of fueling your toddler’s apprehension by adding your own anxiety. It is essential to set a good example. Do not show fear unless absolutely necessary.

Lend Your Ears

Listening is an important aspect in managing anxiety disorders. So stop being a talker and be a listener. Begin to listen and start a two-way conversation. Children with this disorder naturally want someone who can listen to them express their emotions. Encourage your little one to tell stories and only talk once he is finished. The sense of trust your toddler gains will give him security and this will assist him filter his anxiety attacks in the long run.

Establish Routine and Structure

Provide routines with consistency. Daily habits regulate his anxiety and emphasize predictability. This gives a sense of control for both parent and toddler. See to it you allocate ample time for your toddler to take meals, read, nap, play, bathe and sleep. Always stick to a regular time to help prevent fatigue which causes stress. Quiet, relaxing activities like reading books, talking and cuddling helps relieve stress helping your toddler’s body and mind calm down. Keep disruptions to a minimum. Remember to give restrictions (e.g. areas of the house he cannot enter, cabinets he can touch, etc.). Setting limits comforts anxious children.

Provide Coping Mechanisms

Separation, sleeping, panic and obsessive compulsive anxiety disorders require coping mechanisms. You can minimize these attacks with:

Play Therapy

Play therapy is a very effective coping method to use among toddlers since they are often unable to convey their emotions out loud. It centres on letting a toddler process and express his concerns through play, which then enables the parent to help the toddler overcome the disorder.

Free play allows your young one to discover the world with his own pace. Encourage your child to play outside. The exposure he gets from playing hide and seek, tag, soccer and other active outdoor games helps him realize that life is safe beyond the four corners of the house. Gradually, this change will help him become less fearful and more easy-going.

If he is scared of cats, practice interaction with stuffed animals, watch animal cartoon shows or visit a pet store. Divert his attention by giving him activities that will keep him busy like drawing, coloring, cleaning his room or helping you cook meals.


Run, brisk walk or do jumping jacks together to keep your toddler’s mind and body busy. Teach him breathing exercises to soothe his nerves. Physical activities help your toddler take his mind off his concerns and focus on something else.


Give your toddler a notebook and a pen so the next time he feels restless he can just write off his thoughts in his journal. 10 to 20 minutes of writing will help your toddler’s mind calm down. A lot of individuals find comfort in writing since it can put some form and shape to their confused emotions.

Show Empathy

Toddlers with anxiety disorders are not satisfied with just knowing they are loved. They need to hear it to feel safe. Do not just tell him to go to his room and sleep. Provide oral affirmations of love and security. Dance, sing, laugh, embrace, kiss, hold, rock and chat. Your uneasy child needs that extra comfort to help him relax and lighten the tension in his body. Acknowledge your toddler’s feelings. Talk about it openly. Ask what bothers his mind, why he feels that way and what he wants to do about it. After which, reward your toddler for trying to face his fears. Recognizing them already takes a lot of effort for him so be sure to commend his tiniest efforts. By doing so, you inspire your toddler to continue doing good.

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Supporting Children With Autism

Toddlers with autism are intellectually, verbally and socially challenged. These delays causes them to be extra sensitive. It takes a lot of patience, persistence and wisdom to help them. But, with professional help, a whole lot of love and encouragement, children with autism can learn, grow and flourish like normal individuals.

How to Help An Autistic Child

Be Informed

Knowledge is power. The first step in supporting your toddler is by being prepared. Learn about autism. The more information you know about it, the better equipped you will be in creating sensible decisions for your precious one. Ask questions. Inform yourself about the different treatment alternatives. Seek advice from the specialists.

Second, be an expert on your toddler. Determine what sets off your toddler’s disturbing behaviors and what elicits positive reactions. Know the things that make your toddler happy, peaceful, stressed and uneasy. The more you know about the things that ruffles his feathers the better you can act in averting and resolving these problems.

Supply Structure and Safety

Naturally, a toddler who has autism have trouble adjusting and adapting. As a parent, it is your duty to provide a solid base. Be consistent. Building stability in your toddlers environment is the best method to strengthen learning. For example, figure out how your toddler’s therapist deals with your child and maintain that approach at home. Or, why not set your toddler’s therapy in various places. This will likely persuade your little one to convey what he has learned from one situation to another.

Uniformity in his daily routine is also essential. Create a healthy schedule for your toddler and allot adequate time for meals, playschool, naps, therapy, free play and bedtime. Avoid distractions.

It is also beneficial to set up a small space in your home solely for your toddler. This private space will serve as his comfort zone. This should help him unwind wherein he gets to take a break from his therapy and just be free doing the things he loves. Keep the ambiance light and cheery so see to it his space is filled with lots of papers, crayons, art materials, educational toys and music.

Provide Early Intervention

This intercession creates an established approach wherein behavioral testing is applied. With the help of therapists, you can successfully improve your toddler’s condition by coaching him new constructive behaviors and altering negative ones through repetition and practice in a playful manner. A fun free-play makes more sense to toddlers. Mimic his therapist’s activities. For example, during his play time, let him play with toy blocks. Toss each one into a pail while saying the word “block” repetitively; inviting your toddler to copy you.

Tackle Sensory Issues

An autistic toddler have sensory issues which hinders learning. Therefore, you should learn how to adjust. Instead of pressuring your little one to learn this and that, it would be best if you look for nonverbal ways to communicate. Observe his facial expressions and body language. By doing so, you will recognize his discomfort once he wrinkles his nose or kicks his feet. A hand gesture is an easy way for him to tell you his requests.

Give Praise

Providing positive reinforcement is a powerful way to encourage children with autism. Be observant. Always commend your toddler for his effort, a good deed or for learning a new skill. Specify what behaviour he is being praised for. Reward him with lots of hugs and kisses, his favorite sweets or a new toy.

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Helping A Child With Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) is a finding usually given to 3-year old toddlers. Children who have PDD are often puzzled with their thoughts and are disintegrated with their perception of the world. PDD is a group of conditions that involve delays in the development of many fundamental skills, specifically the ability to communicate and interact with others and the use of imagination. It consists of 5 disorders namely:

  • Asperger’s Syndrome - difficulty with social interaction and communication but with above average intelligence
  • Autism – deficient in social, communication and thinking skills, interests are limited
  • Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD) – a rare circumstance that occurs from age 2 to 10 wherein a toddler can lose many of the skills he has grown
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) – toddlers who have communication and play deficiency but are too social to be believed autistic
  • Rett’s Syndrome – a very unusual disorder with signs related to PDD but with problems of physical abnormalities and poor dexterity skills

How to Help A Toddler With PDD

There is no known treatment for pervasive developmental disorder. But, the most effective way to address this condition is by having a treatment program that tackles a toddler’s needs at home and in school. With a PDD program, parents, teachers, doctors and therapists should work jointly to help improve skills and decrease actions that can hinder toddler development.

1.) Special Education

A toddler with PDD highly benefits from special education. To help balance and somehow modify a child’s deficiencies, a focused classroom (either a one-on-one or small sized class setting) is essential. Varied learning systems are given so in this way, lessons and activities are set in a direct manner. Thus, adequate attention is given to the different scholastic strengths and weaknesses of the child.

2.) Open Communication Lines

Having a close parent-child relationship is really significant in this situation. To help a toddler with his journey, constant talking is essential. Facing the problem is better than running from it. When both parent and child acknowledge the special condition, open communication take place, and with this, parents can openly discuss the situation and the toddler can better comprehend. Moreover, the toddler will be more willing to accept and adjust. He becomes determined to set and reach realistic goals for himself to help improve his condition.

3.) Classes or Workshops

A toddler with PDD only lacks people skills. To help him enhance it, find a group where he can be a part of. If he is a good swimmer, enroll him in a swimming class. This new setting allows the toddler’s special skills to shine in a way they do not in a classroom. Plus, it is the perfect opportunity for him to meet other children who share his interests. As a result, he gets to focus on his strengths, divert his condition into something productive and gain friends who accept him, imperfections and all.

4.) Therapy

Cognitive, language and physical treatments are essential. These are designed to increase the toddler’s functional abilities. With a professional counselor, he gets to do certain exercises that are directed in enhancing undeveloped skills. Activities like building things from toy blocks improve his movements giving him dexterity. While audio and visual drills modify his level of speech and thinking.

5.) Support Groups

Involving in a PDD support group is an excellent way to meet other families facing the same challenges. Parents can exchange information, gather advice and lean on one another for emotional support. By being with others in the same boat and sharing experiences, you not only find personal comfort but a lot of ideas that can help you assist your toddler.

6.) Do Fun Activities Together

A toddler dealing with PDD is still a child. For toddlers and parents, there must be more to life than therapy. Schedule playtime when your toddler is most conscious and alert. Look for ways to have fun together by assessing the things that make your toddler laugh, smile and self-assured. Without a doubt, he will enjoy this break. There are a lot of positive outcomes that result from your toddler’s happiness of spending a relaxing time with you.  Play is imperative in a toddler’s learning and should not feel like work.

7.) Create A Safe Abode

Have a private space in your home where your toddler can rest and feel protected. Organize his space in ways your toddler can understand. Child-proof you home and create visual signs (e.g. colored tapes for off-limit areas, pictures for indexing objects, etc.).

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How Make Believe Enhances Toddler Development

The impact of pretend play to children is so powerful. They get a lot of benefit from playing make believe. By understanding these benefits and working on to promote this type of play in toddlers, you help fuel the process of building various skills that are imperative in honing toddler development.

Benefits Toddlers Get From Symbolic Play

It Helps Toddlers Discover Their Talents

When toddlers are at play, everything and anything comes to life. A simple cardboard box can be transformed into a mini playhouse, play dough’s can be molded to fun animals or into a ginger bread house and socks into sock puppets with googly eyes. Possibilities are endless. Role playing unleashes the imaginative side of toddlers which ultimately helps them discover their personal aesthetic tastes at a tender age. Furthermore, make believe encourages toddlers to explore, observe and discover new things. A toddler who is fond of constructing objects may have the skills of an architect, while a little one who loves to tinker with colors, papers and blank canvases may be a brilliant painter in the making.

It Serves As A Representation of Real Things

To you, a block is just a block. But for your toddler it becomes anything from a burger to a pirate ship. Symbolic play obliges your toddler to think abstractly which helps him become an imaginative problem solver. While this may not seem like a major developmental milestone, but the capability to think metaphorically is crucial in learning language, sounds and math. When your toddler plays make believe, he uses toys that he can utilize in a variety of ways. This is how your little one comes to recognize basic thinking and academic skills (e.g. numbers represent amounts and letters stand for sounds).

It Helps Toddlers Acquire Confidence

Sense of self is essential to help toddlers properly develop. Playing in an open-ended manner enables your little one to play in almost any way he likes. This encourages safe expression of feelings which promotes the development of healthy behaviors. As a result, your toddler learns how to channel his frustrations productively promoting creative thoughts and new ideas which gives him self-esteem. Once he has this, he gains good understanding of himself which helps him better articulate with others.

It Enhances Language Skills

Make believe allows your toddler to experiment with words and voices. As your energetic toddler babbles to his stuffed animals and robots about his playtime plans, your child is gradually reinforcing his vocabulary and practicing speech. This is very beneficial as he grows older and starts to be more cooperative with other children since it minimizes petty fights and tantrum displays because he knows how to clearly express his queries and wants.

It Boosts Problem Solving Skills

When role playing, your toddler gets to utilize his brain. He encounters different scenarios which helps him understand things and come up with ways to resolve such problems. His brain is constantly thinking as your toddler spins scenes in his head. For example, he is playing with stacking toys. Naturally, he becomes curious so questions like what he wants to construct, what he needs to do in order to keep the blocks in place and how he will recreate the blocks in case it falls down plays inside his head. The more he becomes stimulated, the better exercise his brain gets which helps him become a fast and rational thinker.

It Builds Social Skills

Toys limit your toddler to play on his own. But with role playing, the more toddlers participate, the better. A simple story telling at your village playground or a puppet show in your house is an excellent way to help your toddler mingle with his peers. Not only do children get entertained but the exposure your toddler gets allow him to adapt, adjust, listen, share and respect other kids as well.

It Teaches Toddlers Proper Behaviour

By permitting your toddler to play with imaginative play sets and other forms of dramatic play toys, you are giving him the aptitude to grow his basic thinking skills. This enables your little one to learn how to use his senses to discover things and also how to efficiently manage problems. Make believe is an effective approach in assisting him in recognizing good behaviour from bad behaviour and in making important decisions.

Playing make believe need not require expensive and modern toys. Most often, it is the simple items like hats, blankets, clothes, socks, toy workbench tools and teddy bears where toddlers can learn best.

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