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Language involves understanding (receptive language) and using words (expressive language) to communicate in a socially appropriate way (pragmatic language).
A disorder in any of these areas of language may decrease your child’s ability to listen to others, answer and ask questions, follow directions, as well as use and understand various vocabulary and grammar concepts.
Speech Therapists can help your child develop the skills to overcome these areas of difficulty.
BIRTH - 3 YEARS OLD
Prior to your child learning to talk, there are still numerous ways they will understand and learn language. Your child should be seeking your attention by making eye contact, pointing to objects, and making intentional sounds to attempt communication. Continue reading about this phase here.
Even though babies don't say many (if any!) words during this age, by around 6 months, they should start attempting to imitate your words and sounds. They will also participate in "conversations"! Ever play PEEK-A-BOO? Your child will usually giggle, smile, or squeal when you say "BOO"! They are aware that this interaction involves taking turns. You say and do something, then, they say and do something and the interaction replays itself. This is a version of a conversation.
During this period is a great time to introduce baby sign language as well. Teaching your toddler "signs" allows them to communicate what they want BEFORE being able to actually put the sounds together to say the word. You can read more research about the benefits of this here and here.
BY THE AGE OF 3, YOUR CHILD SHOULD:
Have ~1000 words, asking those famous "Why?" questions, using 3-4 word sentences, and starting to use plurals and much more!
Have a simple understanding of the basic concepts (colors, shapes, time), as well as opposites (big/small) and much more!
NOTICING SOME STRUGGLES?
As your child gets older and starts getting into preschool and Kindergarten they begin to learn more concrete things, like the alphabet.
If you notice that your child is having difficulty learning their letter names and sounds, now is the time to consult a speech therapist. The earlier they receive the help the better so contact me today and let's talk to see how we can work together to ensure your child is set up of success!
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