The development of communication skills begins in babies through listening to the sounds, chatting and conversation around them. That is why reading to your baby even before they are talking and just talking to them about everyday ‘goings-on’, is such a great thing to do. ‘Reading Magic’ by Mem Fox reinforces this. It's never too early to talk to your baby, helping the language centres in your baby’s brain to develop.
The process of a child developing language, learning to use words and grammar, follows developmental guidelines. While there is variation between children and gender, when language is developing, it is good to know that your child is basically ‘on track’. If there are delays, it is best to rectify them early to ensure their language skills are up to expected competency by the time they reach school start age. Any speech or language problem at start of school, is likely to have a significant effect on the child's social and academic skills and behaviour. The earlier a child's speech and language problems are identified and treated, the less likely it is that problems will persist or affect learning. Early speech and language intervention can help children be more successful with reading, writing, schoolwork, and interpersonal relationships.
For more details on developmental language norms, you can go to: www.asha.org/public/speech/development/01.htm
If you have identified that your child has a language delay, try some simple strategies to stimulate your child’s language and encourage him or her to say more words, rather than using gesture, during everyday activities and during play. The easiest strategy is to show real excitement whenever your child communicates with words, any attempts. You may then use a modeling strategy such that, whenever your child says something, repeat it back to them adding an extra word or two so that they are constantly hearing correct models for talking. Using exaggerated intonation can also help to draw your child’s attention to words. Avoid asking your child questions and teaching them, just have fun, exaggerate and be silly with words. Kids love it. This can help your child enjoy words and hopefully help them to start repeating what you say and using more words independently. Encourage your child to look at your face while you are talking. There are many strategies that can be used to help kick start your child’s language.
Sharon works with early delays in language development helping families to ‘kick start’ their child’s delayed language development with a range of activities that can be easily followed at home. Where there are more specific developmental delays, language or learning difficulties, or a diagnosed disability, Sharon works closely with other Speech Pathologists in the region and will refer you to a suitable practitioner, who specialises in that area of disability.
Well Spoken offers Speech Pathology skills in the management of: Voice, Fluency, Articulation, Hearing Impairment, Early Language Delays ….and more
Well Spoken offers Orofacial Myofunctional expertise: re-programming muscles of the face mouth and throat, correction of oral habits, swallowing, chewing, breathing & speaking, tongue tie….and more.
Sharon Moore Speech Pathologist has 30 years of clinical experience as a Speech Pathologist in Australia and overseas