Jen and I went to a talk last night given by Dr. James MacDonald of Communicating Partners. Dr. MacDonald has been working with children who have speech delays, particularly those with autism or Down syndrome. Here is the link to his website, he has put tons of info there.
His approach is to simplify and slow down, we are overstimulating our kids, and expecting too much too soon. It was so refreshing to hear an expert say, become your child's play partner, meet them where they are at, and then slowly give them the next level. Be silly, be spontaneous, make it more fun for both of you. Dr. MacDonald said, after all the goal of social interactions is to make a connection, not just convey information.
My head is just swimming with everything that was discussed last night, my poor writing skills do not do him justice! His approach applies to all parents, not just to those of children with special needs. Take some time to check out his website.