Developing a child’s speech – Your Guide

June 29, 2023 | Blog, Education, Parenting

Developing speech and communication is the essence of human connection, and it plays an integral role in every aspect of our lives. As a mom, you are the architect of your child’s future. By actively fostering your child’s speech and language skills, you are laying the groundwork. Developing your child’s communication abilities is a journey that brings you closer together and allows you to revel in their progress.

Noala Hub was founded by Emilie Spire. In September 2023 Emilie took the difficult decision to close the doors for businessNoala digital platform is still available to charities, free of charge, working with children, schools and speech and language pathologists. 


Why is it crucial for you to prioritize and focus on your child’s speech and language development?

Communication is essential for personal growth and interaction. 8% of children in the UK have Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). This affects 1.4 million young individuals, hindering their ability to speak clearly, understand language, and engage with others. DLD often goes undiagnosed, even though, on average, two students in every classroom of 30 struggle with it. 

5 reasons why speech and language development is important

  • Builds Strong Foundations

By prioritizing your child’s communication and speech development, you lay the groundwork for their overall development. Language skills serve as a foundation for cognitive, social, and emotional growth, setting them up for success in various aspects of life.

  • Enhances Social Interactions

Effective communication skills empower your child to connect meaningfully. Allows them to express themselves in a healthy way, understand others, and navigate social situations with confidence and empathy, fostering positive relationships.

  • Benefits Emotional Well-Being

Effective communication improves children’s emotional well-being, reducing frustration, enhancing self-expression, and boosting self-esteem and confidence.

  • Improves Cognitive Development

Nurturing your child’s communication skills enhances their language development and stimulates thinking, problem-solving, memory, and overall cognitive growth, unlocking their intellectual potential.

  • Strengthens the Parent-Child Bond

Participating in activities that encourage communication and speech development strengthens the bond between you and your child. You create a deeper connection, cultivate trust, and improve the parent-child relationship. These moments of engagement create a strong foundation for mutual understanding and growth within your relationship.

Focusing on your child’s speech and language development is an investment in your child’s present and future well-being.

What are the general milestones for speech and language development in children?

Every child’s journey is unique. Understanding the general milestones for speech and language development is a valuable guide for parents and caregivers. While variations exist, let us share insight into the expected milestones that children can typically achieve along their journey. 

Read more about what our qualified Speech and Language Therapists at Noala have highlighted as important milestones for your child to achieve in their speech and language development here.

 

Child Speech Milestones

 

What can I do at home to encourage my child’s speech and language development?

Here are 5 easy tips for moms or caregivers to try at home, suggested by Noala Speech and Language Therapists. 

Sound Hunt

Go on a sound scavenger hunt, encouraging children to identify and imitate different sounds they hear in the environment. For example, an animal sound like a dog barking, “woof woof”. 

Sensory Play

Sensory play for children involves engaging their senses, such as touch, sight, smell, taste, and hearing, through various activities and materials. It provides opportunities for exploration, discovery, and learning through sensory experiences.

Engage children in sensory experiences using materials like water, sand, or playdough to encourage language development. These activities stimulate the development of sensory processing skills, fine motor skills, cognitive abilities, and language development in children.

Pretend Play

Encourage imaginative play with role-playing activities, such as playing house, restaurant, or doctor, which promote communication and storytelling.

Picture Book Exploration

Use picture books as a foundation for discussion. Encouraging children to describe the pictures, predict the story, and share their thoughts. For example, use a photo album of your family, and ask your child to name the people they see. “That’s my sister, Darla”. 

Guess the Sound

Play a game where children listen to various sounds and try to guess what is making the sound. Here is a fun visual and auditive game for your child to engage with.

These activities provide interactive and engaging experiences that support speech and language development while fostering creativity, observation skills, and communication abilities in children. 

When should I seek professional support for my child’s speech and language?

It is recommended to seek professional help for your child’s speech and language development if you notice any of the following:

  1. Lack of babbling or limited vocalizations by 12 months
  2. Delayed or limited development of first words by 18 months
  3. Difficulty understanding or following simple instructions by age 2
  4. Persistent articulation errors or difficulty producing speech sounds by age 4-5
  5. Frustration or communication breakdowns affecting social interactions by age 4-5
  6. Limited vocabulary or difficulty putting words together into sentences by age 5-6
  7. Regression or loss of previously acquired speech or language skills, regardless of age

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