Parent Survival Guide: Helping your child develop early language, communication skills

VIDEO: Parent Survival Guide: Helping your child develop early language, communication skills

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Early language and communication skills are important for a child’s success in school and beyond.

Developing those skills should start early even before your child’s first birthday.

According to speech and language Pathologist Jenni Reidenbach it’s never too early to talk to your child.

“They will be babbling and cooing and smiling all of these things but they are still getting so much from hearing us talk,” says Reidenbach.

She says at birth we can help boost child’s language by reading out loud, playing rhyming games and even singing.

Reidenbach says it's also important to narrate your life and things you're doing and label everything.

“'Oh I’m giving you a bath. I’ve got your nose.' Naming the body parts, labeling your areas on your head and playing sing song baby games is how they learn the language,” says Reidenbach.

At the age of 1, Reidenbach says a child should be able to say at least one word, and at the age of 2 should be putting at least two words together.

As your child gets older she says there should be more adjectives used and descriptors as they get ready for Kindergarden and telling more stories.

She says it’s also important to ask your child questions and help them learn the art of following directions.

“It’s good to say,'Give me your cup’ instead of just taking it from them. Have them follow that direction, use your gestures. It’s wonderful to have that cue for them to learn, then take the cue away and see if they will point to the cup rather than you giving them that cue,” Reidenbach says.

If you’re concerned about your child’s language and speech development it’s best to talk to your pediatrician and their teacher and have a developmental assessment done to see what steps to take next.

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