@30SecondMom of the Week: @MindyHudon Talks #Speech #Language Development in #Kids! by Elisa Schmitz
Many parents wonder if their children are developing at a typical rate, or if there is cause for concern. Speech and language are aspects of a child’s development that can prompt many questions, but luckily we have professionals at 30Second Mom like Mindy Hudon to guide us. Mindy has 25 years’ experience working with children and adults in schools, clinics and rehabilitation centers. She shared her experience and expectations in a recent 30Second Mom Twitter chat and helped answer many parent questions about ages and stages of language development. Read on to learn more about how and when children speak!
Q: When do babies start to communicate?
A: Babies start to communicate before their first words. Cooing, crying and babbling are all communication intentions from birth to 3 months. Your baby’s first smile may be seen around 3 months of age, telling you they are happy to see you. Around 7 months to one year, your baby may start to understand common words such as “cookie, cup, book” and requests like “want more.” Gestures are a form of communication. From 7 months to one year babies point, wave, etc. All are forms of communication.
Q: When could I expect to hear my child’s first words?
A: The first 3 years of life, a baby has rapid language development. Typically, babbles such as “tata, mamama” start to shape into words about 7 months to one year. At around your baby’s first birthday, you may see their first one to two words, or word approximations like “dada, up, more.”
Q: When may my baby start to use sentences?
A: From one to two years, a baby may start to rapidly use new words every month. Your baby may start to combine two to three words in phrases like “more juice” and questions such as “where kitty?” They may follow simple directions like “Get your coat” and understand questions like “Where’s the doggie?” By 2 to 3 years, children may use adult-like sentences to communicate. Speech is usually understood by familiar listeners.
Q: When should I be concerned about my child’s speech and language development?
A: You should be concerned if your child isn’t able to understand or express him/herself for their age and they are getting frustrated. By age 3, be concerned if they are not understood by family and using a variety of speech sounds such as “p, b, m, w” and vowels. By age 4, be concerned if they are not understood by unfamiliar listeners and correctly using most speech sounds: “t, d, k, g, f.” If your child is having difficulty understanding directions, responding to their name, or engaging in play, contact your doctor. Every child develops at his/her own pace; however, it is important to be aware and intervene if necessary. Visit www.asha.org for more information.
Q: What can parents do to help their children develop their speech and language successfully?
A: Parents need to enrich their children’s language by exposing them to a variety of experiences and vocabulary. Talk about what you see when you see it. For example, “Look, see the bird flying.” Expand their vocabulary. If they understand the word “big” then start to use “huge.” Model correct speech sounds. Even though your kid’s speech sounds “cute,” don’t encourage them to use incorrect speech sounds.
Q: Thank you for that helpful info! As a mom of twin teens, tell us: What is the best part about being a mom?
A: The best part about being a mom is watching my twins’ personal accomplishments and knowing that I had some part in helping them achieve their dreams! It is an unbelievable feeling to see my boys receive an academic honor or award, watch them create films, play an instrument in a concert or be the lead actor in a local show! It’s hard to explain the emotions that I feel! It’s beyond proud. It’s overwhelming!
Q: What is the best advice you have been given as a parent?
A: As a new parent of twins, the best advice I was given by another mother of multiples was to get my boys on a schedule and to put them down to sleep in their cribs awake so that they wouldn’t be frightened when they woke up at night. To this day, they thrive on a set schedule and have always been excellent sleepers! I never had problems getting them to sleep in their own room. However, now as teenagers I have a problem getting them up!
Q: And finally, what is your favorite recipe?
A: My favorite recipe has to be the Vanilla Bean cake from the Spunky Coconut. It is grain free and YES it is made with mostly white beans. It is a delicious and healthy treat. I use this recipe for cake and cupcakes! I love the bean waffles, too!