Ask your child to slow down. Remind her to take a breath after each sentence. Encourage her to retell the story using transition words, such as first, next, then and finally. Reassure her that you’ll be listening to all of her words, so she can take her time and not feel pressured to rush through it.
What you can say
“Sofia, I can tell you’re really excited about the field trip you took today. But I’m having a hard time figuring out exactly what you’re trying to say. Let’s try to slow it down a bit. I’ll be sure to listen carefully.”
“First, let’s start at the very beginning of the trip. Tell me about the bus ride. Who sat next to you? Was it a long drive? What happened once you arrived there? Where did you go first? What happened next? Then what happened? What was the last interesting that happened? Wow, it sounds like you and your classmates had a great day.”
“I’m glad you slowed down and told me the story in order this time, Sofia. Now I have a really clear understanding about your field trip.”
Why this will help
Kids with learning and attention issues often find that their thinking runs a little ahead of their ability to describe something. Sometimes they worry they won’t be able to remember what they want to say or that they won’ t be able to get it out quickly enough. The result can be a torrent of words spilling out.
You can act as a storytelling aide and ask questions to help your child pace out the information. Your guidance will make it easier for her to relax a bit and share the details in a more organized way. Getting her into the habit of using transition words will help her express herself more clearly.