Many times parents become desperate to see that they can not communicate with their children because they do not talk and do not know what they need when they cry. And then they do not understand what they mean by their first words. Other parents are overwhelmed because their children do not talk like other children their own age, and wonder what they can do to help their child develop language first.
In the first years of the children’s lives, a series of transcendental milestones occur: the ability to move autonomously (walking), learning to read and writing and of course, speaking.
Acquiring these skills will allow the child to be more autonomous and make their education infinitely simpler for both parents and educators.
When do children start talking?
The language of children goes through different stages in which the child communicates within his possibilities, even before he begins to speak; Is an evolution with more or less defined times and although each child carries his own rhythm, the usual process is:
- From birth: From birth, and before the words arrive, the child will begin to communicate through crying, guttural sounds and babbling. All these forms of communication are very important for their development, since depending on our answers to them will understand sooner or later, the importance of communication.
- Before one year: Before the first year of life, the child usually begins to pronounce his first words, which is a momentous moment for both the child and his family. Little by little, these words will be accompanied by a non-verbal communicative language such as, for example, taking the hand to the diaper when it needs to be changed.
- Until the year and a half: The baby consolidates that series of words that form his communicative repertoire and his next step is the union of two words in search of a more exact meaning of what he wants; If before, for example, she said “Mom”, now she will say “Mom here”, expressing that she wants her mother nearby.
- Enter 2-3 years: The most significant moment in the evolution of language occurs between two and three years. It is at this time that they vastly expand their vocabulary, in which they begin to spin phrases and to be able to maintain simple conversations.
- From the age of three: The child begins to acquire the language adult, Beginning to handle grammatical aspects, expanding their vocabulary enormously and elaborating increasingly complex phrases.
- Up to 11 years: Language development continues until about 11 years, but it is at five when the child has already acquired the most important aspects of language; From now on, will be polishing details.
The baby’s first words
We all come to mind that the first words of babies are usually “dad” and “mom”, although for other children is “bread.” These are the most frequent, although not necessarily children begin to talk to them.
Before the age of one, children begin with repetitive echolalia or babbling. On the other hand there are a series of simpler pronunciation phonemes: / m /, / p /, / a / and / and /. With these two factors usually give those simple words that become the first words of the child.
A determining factor is the stimulation that the small one receives in its surroundings. Generally, the parents’ desire is for their child to call them “dad” and “mom”, so they will repeat it to the baby constantly, vocalizing perfectly to assimilate it, but if the child receives the same stimulus towards others Simple words, it is highly probable that these are his first words.
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One of the things that causes parents the most stress is not being able to understand their children when they do not talk, when they cry disconsolately and seemingly nothing happens to them, when they are restless or they are down.
In the first place, it is important not to be distressed, since the child, although he does not speak yet, notices that anxiety since the four months. And is that at that age begins to distinguish the emotional qualities of language and its intonation.
It is convenient that, from birth, both the father and the mother spend time with the baby and show great interest in communicating with their child, beyond words. This will help parents find out how their child expresses themselves, and find the differences between the baby’s different crying, guttural sounds and babbling, because each expresses a need that, in time, will learn to differentiate.
On the other hand it is important to work with other types of communication with children. In this sense, to enhance communication with children prior to oral language we can only work on body language. Thus, children can learn without any problem to point their body parts (and this way can show where it hurts) and express their basic needs to communicate (bringing their hands to the mouth will indicate hunger or thirst, the diaper will mark you need Be changed, etc.).
Some children do not talk when others their age already do. The first advice for parents who see their children not following the development of language at the same level as standards do not get overwhelmed, do not think that their child has a serious problem, and that they do not transmit their insecurity to the child , Since he will perceive it and will not feel comfortable trying to express himself.
The Simple language delay Is a pathology more common than we could imagine, and in no case supposes that the child is not going to talk or that has any type of problem important for their vital development.
When we appreciate that our son does not follow the rhythm that others follow in the progressive acquisition of language, we must have patience and continue to stimulate him, since that way he can reach the same rhythm as the other children.
If we see that the child takes significantly more than the others to achieve the same achievements – more or less Half a year late-, it is convenient that we go to an expert who advises us. For this, we can use several professionals:
- If you are enrolled in a teaching center with a counselor, we must go to him and let him tell us how to act. In addition, you can refer to the Hearing and language specialist of the center (it is convenient when choosing the center to know what staff is available).
- Most often, the child is not enrolled in a facility, as these problems occur at earlier ages. Therefore, we can go to both a speech therapist and a pediatrician; Both can explain the causes of the problem and the most appropriate solution. However, it is preferable to go first to the pediatrician, since he can give a diagnosis in which include possible neurological lesions or in the organs of speech; The pediatrician will then transfer the child to the speech therapist with a more accurate diagnosis that the speech therapist can complete.
Everything can be trained to be improved, the speech also. Therefore, we will be able to work on some aspects and follow some guidelines to help the child to speak and strengthen their language once acquired. We must also keep in mind that the more we work, the better, but never getting tired of the little one.
In the first place, the people who are part of the child’s environment, both in the classroom (professionals) and outside (family, friends …), must take care of their language. They are the two models traditionally closest to the child and he will repeat what he is accustomed to hear. For this very reason, we must control what he hears and above all, what programs are on the television when he is ahead. If everything you hear is not appropriate to your level, the child will not be able to imitate it.
On the other hand when your child starts talking, you should not constantly correct each fault, you should let the sentences finish so you feel confident to speak without interruptions. When the child makes a mistake we can correct it, either by entering the appropriate term in the next sentence that we say, or by explaining how to say it. Normally, if the little one just makes mistakes, it is better to explain what is said, but if he falls into numerous inaccuracies, it is better to go, little by little, correcting his mistakes in our conversations with him.
Tricks for the child to learn to talk
There Tricks, games and exercises Which you can use to stimulate your child and help him learn to speak. For example, one of the main problems of children is the articulation of phonemes. To improve it, we can make numerous Oral exercises Which will also keep you entertained. Thus, there are different games How to blow small pieces of paper, tell a story about the adventures of the language (how he went up and down, how he went from right to left, how he came out to greet us, how he walked through the teeth …);
It is positive any game that occurs to us so that the child learns to work with the language and is able to handle it, taking it to different points of the mouth (palate or different positions in the teeth).
The taste for oral language is important for the child; That you like to use it and that you want to be able to do it is key. To encourage you to speak, parents and educators must To read stories to him/her Adapted to his age, because this will unite the images with the voice and will be easier to follow the story. It is not essential to use edited stories; For the little one is also very useful to tell you stories even if they lack pictures. In both cases, it is absolutely necessary that the adult vocalize well and use a quiet tone that the child transmits calm.
The Children’s tunes Are fundamental for the youngest when they begin in oral language; Its slow rhythm, short sentences and simple rhymes make the child learn them and repeat them without too much trouble, which will make them familiar with and use oral language, thus expanding their linguistic registers. For this it is advisable that the parents talk to the educators to know what songs are sung in the classroom and thus give continuity at home
Finally, we must not forget the most important thing: to show interest in the child’s language, spend time with him/her and Talk to him/her constantly In a language suitable for him/her to get used to words.