Research on early language learning tells us that young children learn more readily if parents and others join in on what their child is attending to rather than trying to redirect them to new activities. You can do this by watching and listening to your child’s activity, narrating what your child is doing, offering assistance, and imitating what they are doing. By joining your child where their attention is, you can offer opportunities for language learning.

The following resources include guidance in following your child’s lead.

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Following your Child’s Lead

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Follow Your Child’s Lead

Example of following your child’s lead


I can follow my child’s lead by:

  • Listening and watching what my child is saying and doing
  • Narrating my child’s play
  • Offering to help with what my child is engaged in
  • Imitating my child’s actions

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Adapted from: An early start for your child with Autism: Using everyday activities to help kids connect, communicate, and learn. Rogers, S.J., Dawson, G., Vismara, L.A. (2012). New York: Guilford Press.