The Importance of Early Speech Development: Insights from We Talkers
As parents, we want our children to excel in every aspect of their lives, including communication. However, not all children develop their language and communication skills simultaneously. That's where We Talkers comes in. Founded by Carly and Katie, two pediatric speech-language pathologists with over 25 years of experience, We Talkers specializes in helping parents of babies, and toddlers support their child's language and communication development.
In a recent episode of the Do Therapists podcast, Carly and Katie shared their insights on how parents can set the tone for quality speech and expression from the start. According to Carly, "If you can lay a foundation from the very beginning that communication is about a connection between you and your child, and that it is a positive experience, and that is not a pleasureful experience, you will see much more success than if it is a connection based out of fear or pressure that you really want your kid to talk and you want them to excel."
One of the key takeaways from the podcast is that communication is not just about words. It's about connection. As parents, we can help our children develop their communication skills by creating a positive and supportive environment. We can do this by talking to our children, reading, and engaging in activities that encourage communication and interaction.
Carly and Katie also emphasized the importance of simplicity and consistency in language development. They caution against using flashcards and constantly asking questions, as it can feel overwhelming and pressure-filled for children. Instead, they recommend talking through daily routines, starting a book-reading routine, and singing simple songs and rhymes with babies. They also suggest using 'parentese', a high-pitched, melodic way of talking to babies and toddlers, to help them cue into language and provide a lot of connection.
Another common myth Carly and Katie debunked is that all children will eventually learn to speak without intervention.
Some children need support and intervention, and others may even remain non-speaking. However, various augmentative and alternative communication methods are available for non-speaking individuals.
It is important to know developmental norms and seek professional help if necessary. We Talkers offers a free milestones checklist to help parents determine where their child falls regarding speech development. As Carly and Katie explain, "If you notice something, then it's best just to get it checked out, and there are so many free resources. It doesn't have to be this big scary thing. It never hurts."
Overall, We Talkers provides valuable insights and resources for parents looking to support their child's language and communication development. By focusing on connection, simplicity, and individualized care, we can help our children excel in this crucial aspect of their growth and development.
Listen to the full episode below: