What to Do When Your Child Struggles with Verbal Comprehension

If your child is having issues with verbal comprehension, It may be comforting to know that it is a skill that can be improved with systematic instruction. That is, if your kid struggles with vocabulary and word knowledge, it may be that they or they need more explicit practice.

Activating background knowledge: Educators can introduce new topics by showing pictures, maps, or information about places the kid already knows about or has been to before. These cues will trigger the brain to connect something unknown to something known. Making connections to background information and giving context to new learning can help kids grow in their comprehension.

Visual learners: Visual learners tend to appreciate pictures, images, and visual models. In class, non-verbal prompts are best. For instance, the educator can point to what to do next or physically model how to do a task. Giving checklists, graphic organizers, and visual schedules can also aid in comprehension for a visual learner.

Kinesthetic learners, must ‘touch it’ to get it. Educators can give manipulatives, objects, and experiential opportunities to help them learn best. The educator might tap your kids’s paper, hand them their contents, or pat them on the back. These non-verbal prompts can be much more efficient and less distracting than verbal directions.

Kinesthetic students learn better when they can integrate movements with their learning. Doing a ‘walk and talk’ or some other learning activity that involves movement may help. Kinesthetic learners may learn new spelling words by writing them in the sand or dirt.

Some kinesthetic kids learn the best while outdoors. Knowing that your kid is a visual or kinesthetic learner rather than a verbal learner can go a long way to help make learning fun and to avoid frustration.

Can you think of any additional ways to help a child that has issues with verbal comprehension?

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