What Parents Need to Know About Infant Language Development
With focused attention to their parent’s voice and exposure to a rich language environment babies begin to learn to recognize sound patterns as meaningful words. This does not require the use of fancy flash cards or electronic “apps”. But rather caregivers engaging a baby in meaningful interactions through everyday experiences such as wiping her face, picking her up or preparing a bottle.
EVERY verbal interaction you have with your baby has potential to create neural connections for auditory brain development. As babies connect meaning to the sounds of the words they hear they are in a sense “organizing them into their auditory file folders” much the way we organize documents into files on a computer.
Remember, there is no exact road map or set of instructions for infant language development. There really isn’t even a final destination where language learning is complete because we have the potential to continue to refine our skills throughout our lives. So, fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride as you enjoy the truly miraculous journey of language learning with your baby.
If at any point you are concerned about your baby’s pace of development consult with a certified speech-language pathologist. Your pediatrician should have some resources for you to contact a therapist or agency that can provide a screening or full evaluation. Some children are simply “late talkers”, but don’t take that chance by waiting to see what happens. Trust your own instincts and consult a professional as soon as you become concerned.
Language Launchers Inc. creates products to empower parents with information and activities to take their child’s language to new heights.
This guest post written by Pamela Talbot, M.Ed, CCC-SLP, Cert. AVT, C.E.D, who is a mom of two, a Speech-Language Pathologist and co-founder of Language Launchers Inc.
This article is featured in A Complete Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms: Parenting Tips.
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Enjoy your time at home!