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BY Diane

Sharing Photos With Your Child

Are you enjoying taking pictures with your digital camera or cell phone?  No matter where you are or what you are doing, those little cameras take sharp pictures and capture the moment when your child is celebrating, experiencing something new and exciting, or reviewing and enjoying family and friends.

Using those photos and showing them to your child is more than entertaining – they are experience-sharing moments.  Sitting next to your child and pointing out the special people in their lives or helping them to remember a special place or event helps your child develop episodic memories of a positive, enjoyable time.  (We seldom take family photos during stressful, sad, angry or negative times.)  Usually our pictures are taken to remind us of a place, an event, an unusual activity, or to document change.  Most of our home photos are terrific reminders of great times, people, and places.

Using photos is a great way to develop vocabulary, as you talk about what is in the picture.  It is also a wonderful moment to use social language.  Commenting on a picture of the beach might include “I remember the water was cold.”  “Didn’t we build a big castle?”  “Daddy looked funny when he was wet!” By commenting on the pictures, and going slowly, your child sees how you share your observations, your memories, and your emotions. Be sure you pause often, leaving silent moments so that your child can add to or create comments and recollections. You can add to what they mentioned, waiting again for them to comment.

Rather than keeping your photos on a memory card, as a hand full of pictures, or in an online album, think about publishing them into a book.  You can make a personalized book just for your child that is entirely theirs.  They will love taking out “their book” and “reading” it over and over.  At first, you will be their “reader” but after many reviews, your child will love to open their book and “read” about the pictures, the activities, the people, and the memories they have shared with you.  They may even offer to read it to you, which is a treasure in itself.

What child wouldn’t like to see the story of their very own birthday party? A trip to the zoo, a visit from Bubbie, or a new pet can be a chapter or a whole book.  Walmart, Rite-Aid, Walgreen’s, and CVS have kiosks where you can create a professionally bound soft cover book for your child.  But creating a book together, on heavy paper, with pictures glued in, holes punched, and bound with pipe cleaners is equally loved. It will change the way that you take pictures.  Enjoy!

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Written on January 13, 2011 by:

Diane Nancarrow is a speech-language pathologist and director of adolescent programs at the Kafuman Children's Center for Speech, Language, Sensory-Motor & Social Connections, Inc. in West Bloomfield, MI. Her experience includes auditory processing disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, developmental speech and language disorders, LINKS to Language, Picture Exchange Communication Systems, extensive experience in neurological communication disorders, adolescent language disorders, language to literacy, Fast ForWord® Family of Language Training Programs, The Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol, use of technology to facilitate learning, and application of ABA/ therapy techniques. She also facilitates the social language skills groups at the KCC.

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