It is well-documented that young children learn to speak by listening. And as a parent, you play an integral role in helping your child develop proper speech and language skills – through interactive conversations, repetition, and example. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association recommends several helpful strategies to stimulate your baby’s brain:
- Talk constantly: Tell your baby where you’re going, what you’re doing, what you’re touching, what you’re seeing.
- Elaborate on words your baby uses. If she says “mama,” use it in several different sentences to help her understand context.
- Ask questions: “What’s this?”, “What do you see?”, “Is that a puppy or a kitty?”
- Be expressive. Change the inflection of your voice to indicate a question or excitement. This helps the baby learn tonal distinctions in our language.
- Use gestures. Waving, clapping, and signaling all help you convey your message.
- Reinforce your baby’s attempts at communicating. Repeat the sounds they make and teach them some of your own using consonant-based syllables like “ba” and “da.”
The first two years of your child’s life is a critical time in his language development. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s hearing or speech, talk to an audiologist on your True Dental Discounts, hearing plan. He or she can evaluate your child and test for any possible hearing loss. The earlier hearing loss is discovered, the quicker a child can begin learning.