How did we, as humans, come to dominate the earth? I fundamentally believe that the core reason our species is top dog, so to speak, is our ability to communicate complex thought processes with one another very efficiently. We are not the fastest species on earth; we are certainly not the strongest; and the pets we have in our homes generally have more acute senses than we do. Yet we have this ability, unique in nature, to speak. This has allowed us to master the art of cooperation and in turn, to exploit natural economies of scale. From an evolutionary standpoint, these complementary skills for communication — one a cognitive skill (language) and the other a motor skill (speech) — are a tour-de-force of coordinated systems. Speech evolution and the origin of language may not be something you think about everyday, but read on to understand why you are even more awesome than you realized.
Those first leaves are starting to turn (depending on where you in the country you live of course!) and you’re starting to notice the trees on the side of the highway hinting toward an imminent fury of color. Your kids are nearly frothing at the mouth with excitement for their favorite candy-laden holiday. They have indicated which superhero or character from Disney’s Frozen they want to be — and changed their mind at least once. You have already scouted the best deals for costumes and that mega pack of candies. How we can harness this uniquely motivating holiday to further enhance our home-based treatment outcomes and get your child through his or her speech goals as efficiently as possible? Here are three Halloween language activities and games to get you started:
Like many families this week, your children are heading back to the classroom and coming home with a worksheet or two of homework. (Make that dozens of worksheets for your older kids!) The homework that caught my eye this week is the list of “sight words.” What are sight words? Sight words (high-frequency words, core words or even popcorn words) are the words that are used most often in reading and writing. According to Teach Stix:
In classrooms across America, the development of sight word recognition continues to be a top priority when instructing emerging and beginning readers.
They are called “sight” words because the goal is for your child to recognize these words instantly, at first sight.
Worried about your toddler’s development in speech and language? Don’t hit the panic button yet! There’s a chance your child could just be a late talker. A late talker is a toddler between the ages of 18 to 30 months, who is developing normal play, social, thinking and motor skills, but who is limited in spoken vocabulary for their age. Most late talkers have difficulty with expressive language. Expressive language is used by toddlers when they are communicating their wants and needs. For example, asking for “milk” is a way that toddlers use expressive language to communicate their desire for a particular drink.
As with most things, there are common misconceptions about speech and language development in children, undoubtedly confusing all of us parents! Should we be reading the Wall Street Journal to our babies in utero? Should we feel self-conscious when engaging in baby talk with our 6 month old? Are we doing damage? We are here to help clarify some of the most common False Facts about language development in your child. Of course, it’s important that you are patient. All parents can’t wait until that day when their baby begins to talk! BUT, each child progresses at a different rate, so be patient, it will come. Your best bet is to understand what is true and what is false about language development in your child.