AVT 004

AVT 004

Purposeful Pause



What It Is

A purposeful pause is one where we pause in the middle of what we are saying in order to give the child a chance to verbally respond. The defining characteristic of the purposeful pause is that you are looking at the child expectantly without saying anything, but expecting him to say something.

It is also a 'wait time' to give your child time to be in a listening posture, or verbally respond to something you have just said.

By using purposeful pauses and waiting for your child to respond, he learns to engage in conversation but more importantly learns to think and try to say what he wants without him being 'told' what to say.

How To Use It

You use a purposeful pause just before an action where you want the child to say something. For example, you are getting ready to open a jar of cookies, and you hold the lid, look at the child and wait. In the early stages, you may need to point to your ear and give a verbal prompt of "I don't know what to do!" or "I don't hear you. Tell me what you need!".

Another example is singing a song and stopping in the middle of a line. You should wait for your child to finish the line.

A good rule of thumb for how long to wait for your child to say something, is to count to ten in your head slowly.

When To Use It

Use lots of pauses after your child has heard the appropriate language for the situation several times. For example, in the example of the cookie jar given above, the child should have heard "Open the jar!" or "Cookie, please!" or "I want a cookie please!" before you begin waiting for him to attempt to use the language.

The younger the child, greater the number of repetitions he might need before he actually responds verbally, but you should always give him a pause time and the opportunity to respond in each activity.

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Additional Comments

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