• Claudia Maciuszko

Hey, It's My Turn!

Ah taking turns. We’d all like our children to do it, but it sometimes isn’t easy! And it’s not only about taking turns during group games. Turn-taking is one of the foundational skills for effective communication and conversation and not all turns are made the same. So let’s delve into what this skill really means and what you can do to support your child to learn it.

What is it?

  • In terms of communication, turn-taking involves understanding that when I convey something, I need to wait for my partner’s response: I do something, you do something; it’s all about the back-and-forth.

  • Taking turns in a conversation is not all about the verbal. We’ve all seen those adorable Facebook videos of toddlers babbling away to each other, seeming to make no sense at all but clearly having quite a sophisticated conversation! It goes deeper than this. Some children may only just be developing their verbal language or be having difficulty establishing social interaction with another person. In this case, a turn can be as simple as making eye contact, smiling, leaning forward, pointing, making a sound, copying an action. It’s important that parents are aware of their child’s developmental level and aim for goals that are within their abilities. They might not have said “up!” to request another turn of being swung up by dad, but they looked, smiled and reached their arms upward which is a fantastic turn and should be celebrated.

What can I do to help my child take a turn?

For young children or those just learning how to take turns, you can give one or more of the following cues:

  • Just wait. Sometimes children just need a little time to respond, so don’t be afraid to do and say nothing for a few moments.

  • Lean forward expectantly. If your child is successful at reading body language, simply looking expectant can be enough to let them know it is their turn to respond.

  • Point. You can point out the toy you’d like them to pick up or the direction the game is going (eg. down a slide).

  • Give physical help. If the turn they must take is a movement (eg. waving bye), you can help them perform it or get them started (eg. waving back and forth a few times, then letting them continue). You should try the above cues first before giving physical help; give your child a chance to take a turn themselves.

For older children:

  • Give verbal cues. Stress the pronoun in the phrases you use (eg. “it’s MY turn”).

  • Ask. "Whose turn is it?" Nice and simple, this helps your child stop, consider and respond appropriately.

  • Point to the person. Be this yourself, your child or another person involved, providing a visual indication can help your child keep track of whose turn is next.

  • Use a picture card. As just mentioned, visual input can be super handy for children to learn what is going on. A simple coloured card labelling a turn, or even a little toy or other item, can be passed between you or around a circle to provide a constant visual reminder.

  • Praise the good. Say things like “I love the way you’re waiting”, “you knew it was my turn, well done!” can be a great reinforcer for your child’s positive behaviour. As with anything, it motivates them to do it again!

37 views0 comments

Speech Pathology Adelaide, Adelaide speech pathology, speech therapy adelaide, adelaide speech therapy, cheap speech therapy, afforable speech pathology, inexpensive speech pathology, speech pathology funding, autism, autism speech pathology, articulation, late talker, development milestones, kindergarten, school, mobile speech therapy, adelaide, henley beach, western adelaide, adelaide west, speech pathology western adelaide, speech pathology west adelaide, west adelaide speech pathology, speech therapy west adelaide, speech therapy western adelaide, referal, no referal speech pathology, speech, language, social skills, stuttering, fluency, cleft lip and palate, cleft palate, cleft lip, evidence based speech pathology, cheap speech pathology, friendly speech pathology.

Tags: Cheap speech pathology Adelaide, affordable speech pathology, cheap speech therapy adelaide, cheap speech pathology adelaide, price of speech pathology, fees speech pathology, Adelaide speech pathology, book speech pathology, speech pathology book online, mobile speech pathology, public speech pathology, private speech pathology, private speech pathology adelaide, minimal waiting lists, speech therapy adelaide cheap, speech. language, stutter, fluency, autism, ASD, autism spectrum disorder, cleft lip and palate, feeding, delay, global developmental delay, late talkers, children's speech pathology adeaide, child's speech, kid's speech pathology, baby, toddler, child, kindergarten, preschool, school, social, communication, AAC, PECS, speech pathology west, western speech pathology, western adelaide speech therapy, adelaide west speech pathology, west lakes speech pathology, findon speech pathology, grange speech pathology, henley beach speech pathology, glenelg speech pathology, richmond speech pathology, hindmarsh speech pathology, sprout speech pathology, fulham speech pathology, kurralta park speech thereapy, west beach speech therapy, lockleys, marleston, thebarton, mile end, netley, plympton, novar gardens, hilton, glandore, cowandilla, camden park, ashford, woodville, west lakes, croyden, welland, tennyson, seaton, royal park, rosewater, ridleyton, renown park, henley, grange, fulham gardens, findon, brompton, cheltenham, beverly, allenby gardens, albert park, athol park 


Speech Pathology Adelaide

Say Hooray is a paediatric speech pathology practice that takes on an evidence-based approach to help children achieve their full potential by learning through play. 

We offer individualised therapy for children up to and including school-age. 

  • Instagram
  • Wix Facebook page

Find us on Social Media

© Say Hooray® 2021

Are you a fun & passionate SP or OT?

Join the team!

Say Hooray is committed to ensuring that our content is accessible to everyone. View our accessibility statement here.

See what's happening behind the scenes