The first year of life is remarkable. A newborn starts life with an indistinguishable cry, develops an extensive inventory of sounds, and then learns how to apply these sounds to create verbal symbols. As all this language develops, your baby also learns how to move around and use her hand to manipulate objects in her environment. By the time they are a toddler, they are equipped with the ability to walk and actively explore their world. During these toddler years, language accelerates dramatically. Toddlers start to put words together, articulate more clearly, and expand their vocabulary exponentially. Most importantly, toddlers begin to realize that language is a powerful tool that will allow them to organize experiences and engage others in their adventures. In this lecture, we will discuss developmental milestones and discuss ways that you as a play partner can enhance your child’s expressive, receptive, and non-verbal communication skill set. We will also introduce and demonstrate a number of toys, books, and activities that you can use to enhance your child’s language development between 0 – 3 years. Some of the concept that we will discuss include

  • Feeding-the muscles we learn for feeding are the muscles we learn for talking.
  • Speech Sound Acquisition (prelinguistic speech development to phoneme development)
  • Speech Intelligibility Expectations
  • Pronouns
  • Morphology/Syntax
  • Mean Length of Utterance
  • Pragmatics (Social language)
  • Literacy (pre-reading skills)
  • Concepts (describe position, equality, quantity and comparisons)
  • Vocabulary (receptive vs expressive)
  • Questions- answering questions is how we comprehend language, asking questions is expressive language
  • Listening-listening to something is not the same as hearing it, listening measures the ability to attend and process information

Buckle up, this is an amazing ride.