Debra Hasbrook, M.Ed.
Why isn't she talking yet?
Children generally begin using words we understand around 12 months. First words may be Mamma, Dadah, Bahbah, etc. Throughout the next year their usable language can grow to 250 words or more. Many educators and parents begin using sign language with their children around 10 months. Studies have shown that children are better able to understand language and concepts when consistent gestures are used. Some parents worry that their child will stop wanting to talk if they teach their child sign language. A slow talker may use sign to communicate longer than a child who picks up language quickly. However knowing sign is not the cause of delayed speech, learning to talk is a developmental process. A child will learn speech within their own developmental time line. On the other hand, if a slow talker can make their needs known through sign this can make life better for both the child and care giver. It is always frustrating trying to meet the needs of a crying child who cannot communicate them.
The best way to help your child develop their speech is to talk to her or him. Talk to him about what you are doing, what you see around you, helping the baby connect feelings to their actions. Read stories to children beginning with the newborn. Children begin to connect the sounds you are making to the pictures and symbols they see in front of them. Extensive media viewing will actually delay a child’s initial speech and social emotional development. Once a child has a good grasp on language extensive of inappropriate media may expand your child’s language to include words that might be problematic and that the child does not really understand.
Successful Solutions Training in Child Development offers the online course, Time to Sign with Children (10 hours / 1 CEU) Tuition: $105
Carter is prompted to sign "please" in this video.