During the early years of a child’s development they are learning many of the skills that will shape their language for a life time. During the first 5 years of life the brain is developing very quickly, and children are the most receptive to learning experiences. Early language development during this time is critical.
While your child will not say their first words until close to one year of age they are learning the language around them. Speaking, singing, and reading to your child helps promote early language development. From very early on children can learn the back-and-forth nature of language with important adults in their lives. Young children often use gestures, sounds, or partial words when trying to interact with others, and the responses of the adults is critical in providing positive reinforcement to the language attempts.
It can often be easy to miss the early signs of communication which can decrease the frequency of positive reinforcement that is provided. When a child is talking much adults will naturally talk less too. This can create a situation that does not promote language development. Parents and caregivers need to take a proactive approach to help their child with language, by taking a “wait and see” approach you are missing much of the critical learning window.
Since early speech and language intervention is so important we offer several parent training that will support you in your child’s language development. Even if you are receiving “traditional” speech therapy a strong parent education program can significantly help your child reach their potential.