Normal Speech and Language Development for Babies – Birth to 1 year
As promised, today's post is the first in my 8 week series of posts dedicated to looking at normal, typical development in babies, toddlers and young children!
This vital piece of information for parents is unfortunately not always well-known. Some hospitals and pediatricians will provide information about developmental milestones, but some do not or it is very limited. In my current position, we sometimes have children come to our program at ages 3 and 4, which is late in the game for a little one with special needs, especially if their needs are significant. If a parent doesn't know what "normal" or "typical" development looks like, they may not be able to identify when their child is struggling in one or more areas. My goal and hope is that parents who read this series may seek help sooner when it is necessary for their child.
As echoed on the ASHA website: The development of communication skills begins in infancy, before the emergence of the first word. Any speech or language problem is likely to have a significant effect on the child's social and academic skills and behavior. The earlier a child's speech and language problems are identified and treated, the less likely it is that problems will persist or get worse. Early speech and language intervention can help children be more successful with reading, writing, schoolwork, and interpersonal relationships.
In addition, I feel it is also important for therapists to be reminded of what normal, typical development looks like; otherwise we may lose perspective as we become engrossed in our work and the children we treat.
So, let's get started! Below are two excellent resources for parents and therapists regarding what normal Speech and Language Development looks like for Babies from Birth to 12 months:
- From the National Institute of Health, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders - a wonderful reference for parents. This page includes a Hearing Checklist to help parents discern if their child is hearing properly.
Join me next week for Week 2 of my Typical Speech and Language Development Series