A recent language development research study sought to understand whether children who were identified as having language challenges in preschool tended to have longer term academic difficulties. As you can see, from the very nature of what they were trying to investigate, this longitudinal study—spanning two decades—was the way to go. Research in the field of speech-language pathology deals with human behavior, which is extraordinarily complex. It can take years to be able to draw solid conclusions about the clinical effects of the work we do. What these authors found was surprising and has important implications for how we approach language challenges in preschool children. This study was just published by the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, and can be accessed in its entirety on their site. But I wanted to make sure that parents would have access to such important work, by describing it’s implications.
It can take up to about second grade for a child to acquire fluent speech that is free of articulation errors. However, certain patterns of errors can make a child less understandable to his or her communication partners. This also applies to younger children. Today I wanted to highlight some of these patterns and give you, the parent, some suggestions for improving toddler speech clarity.
A toddler has a lot of information to take in, making toddler language development complex. Information comes at them quickly and constantly like new vocabulary words, longer sentences and questions. Often times we think they are just imitating songs or phrases they’ve heard but as it turns out, toddlers at the age of two are understanding basic grammar rules, which is more than famed Chimpanzee, Nim Chimpanszy could do. This is according to a new study from researchers out of the University of Pennsylvania whose research continues to contribute to the field of language acquisition, ultimately helping to improve the evidence based practices and assessment of speech therapy clients.