The development of each child varies due to individual differences and they will develop speech and language skills at a different rate.  Every child in the same family will not have the same learning journey. Every child has a different way of developing starting at birth.  Children progress at their own pace and it is important to support children in their own growth. A child’s growth is also influenced by their environment and interactions. Cognition, social interaction and emotional regulation, physical skills, sensory awareness, and speech and language are all integral parts of child development.



Why is Child Speech and Language Development Important?



Speech and language development is vital for young ones. Speaking clearly and processing what they are hearing are fundamental building blocks for their progress and growth. Understanding how to help children should always be the top priority of parents, caregivers and anyone who interacts with little ones.



Ways to Help Children with Speech and Language Development



Parents and caregivers have essential roles in the development of children. Interactive activities that target language skills can enhance children’s language development especially during the early years. When children are exposed to a variety of stimulating activities, they can make huge strides toward increasing their expressive and receptive language skills and speaking clearly.



There are many ways to encourage children to start talking during the early years. One way is to create a learning environment that is fun and positive.   Making learning fun and engaging is a good way to keep children interested in age-appropriate activities that allow children to use their imagination and enhance their language skills.  Books like Talk, Play, and Read with Me Mommy and Talk, Play, And Read With Me Daddy by Gramlich are available in the market. These synergetic children’s books contain many stimulating activities and games that are valuable to a child’s growth. This book will assist in the initial stages of communication as well. .



The book acts as a guide or roadmap and helps parents and caregivers to take advantage of daily experiences that provide children with opportunities to talk, use their words, and express their feelings throughout the day. Once they learn this, children will start to understand and communicate topics and concepts about the world around them. Eventually, they will know how to manage their emotions better too.



Common Problems in Speech and Language Development



Many parents become very concerned when they notice that their child is developing language differently than other children their own age especially in the early years of life.  Parents may be worried when that they don’t hear common vocalizations, babble, sounds, sound patterns, or words at certain ages from their infant, toddler, or preschooler.   Although each child develops language at a different rate due to individual differences, it is important for parents to have an awareness and understanding of the basic developmental language milestones that their child will acquire.  Developmental milestones are skills that most children can do by a certain age and allows parents and caregivers to know what to expect next.  How your child talks, plays, learns, and interacts with others determines important clues about your child’s development.  It acts as a guide to help parents understand what skills are or are not being reached at important expanding periods during the early years.  Even if what parents or caregivers notice is not actually a problem, it would still be to their advantage if they have a general understanding of what to expect as their child acquires language during these crucial growing periods. It is a great idea to keep a checklist or charts to keep track of the progress. It can be used to highlight the areas where a child is not developing or possible tracking an area of delay.



There are common language delays and disorders.  The term language delay is used when a child’s speech & language development is following the usual pattern and sequence, but is slower than other children that age.  A language disorder is used to describe language development which is not following the usual pattern or sequence.   Common difficulties include pronunciation or production of sounds (articulation), dysfluent speech (stuttering) or variations in optimal pitch levels (voice).   Also, when a person has trouble understanding others this is associated with comprehension abilities (receptive language) and difficulty sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings (expressive language) is linked to communication abilities.



Parents can address speech and language concerns by seeking out their child’s pediatrician at which time the doctor will make a referral for an evaluation with a speech-language pathologist affiliated with a speech clinic or agency. This is necessary in order to get the proper speech therapy treatments to help eliminate such difficulties that interfere with communication as well as create frustration on the part of both speaker and listener.



Image from: Shutterstock


Jo Ann Gramlich is an award-winning author and speech-language pathologist specializing in helping children with communication disorders in Buffalo, New York. She holds a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from SUNY Buffalo and has extensive experience in early intervention, preschool, and school settings. Visit her on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Skip to content