Speech and language development is split into three key areas when it comes to early years:
Listening and Attention:
The first stage of development is hearing what is being said to them. Listening is one of the most effective ways to learn, especially for new children. The more that the hear talking and speech, the more likely they are to understand what speech and language is and how they can use it to communicate with those around them.
Understanding what is being said to them is the next skill children develop. This can be as simple as recognition, and eventually will lead to them following instructions and non-verbally responding to speech.
This is the final stage of development. It comes when children start repeating what is said back to them, and communicating their wants, needs, and their emotions to you. Whilst their vocabulary will be limited at the start, it will expand over time.
Developing your child’s speech and language skills takes time and patience. The best way to encourage development is to talk to them frequently and read to them out loud. Being exposed to words allows them to develop skills faster, and expand their vocabulary both in understanding and when they start speaking.
All children develop at different rates, so remember to be patient! Typically, most babies start talking between 12 and 18 months.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s speech and language development, don’t hesitate to contact us! We are always happy to help.