Speech & Language Development - Milestones
Speech Delay - Warning Signs
Don't let speech delay hold back your child's development.
Detection of speech delay at any age can make learning to talk easier.
ages 4 to 6 months
watches your face with interest when you talk
tries to "talk" with you
enjoys "talking" with you, smiles at you
coos and squeals for attention
has a special cry when hungry
are any of the above behaviors absent?
If your child shows any of the warning signs listed for their age group,
please contact the Speech-Language Pathologist at your Local Health Unit for more information.
Mirrors are a wonderful tool at this age. Sit in front of a mirror with your baby or hold one so your baby can look into it Use 'parentese' and
ask "Who is that baby?"....wave at the baby or make faces and see how she laughs and enjoys this.
Play "where's the toy" with baby. Take a hand towel or scarf and cover up a toy. Ask "where's the toy?" Then uncover it. This teaches a concept called 'object permanence'.
Object permanence allows your baby to understand that just because she can't see something doesn't mean it isn't there.
Mimic any sounds your baby makes. This encourages more vocalizations. These are also the sounds that will turn into words.
If your baby begins making words, take these words and elongate on them. For example...if the baby says "mama", you might say "Yes I'm your momma".
This encourages taking turns and is the beginning of a conversation.
Again, body parts is a wonderful concept to begin teaching. You can make up a rhyme and sing it to him. Such as "Tap, tap, tap, on my baby's nose, tap, tap, tap, on my baby's toes..."
Activity suggestions are courtesy of Laura Renfroe Christiensen, a Speech Pathologist working with children from birth to 18 months of age.