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Early language milestones: What to expect and how speech therapy can help

Language is a crucial part of a child’s development. From babbling to saying their first words, children go through several stages of language development. As a pediatric SLP, I believe it’s important for parents to understand what to expect during these early stages and how speech therapy can help.

Here are some common language milestones you can expect in your child’s first two years:

0-6 Months: Babbling

During the first few months of life, babies start making sounds that aren’t quite words, but they’re still important in developing their language skills. Babies usually start with simple vowel sounds (“ahh,” “ooo”) and move on to more complex sounds like “babababa” and “gugugugu”. This is a great time for parents to start engaging in interactive play and respond to their baby’s sounds with words and silly noises.

6-12 Months: First Words

At around 6 to 12 months, most babies start to say their first words. This can be a huge milestone for both the baby and their parents. Some common first words include “mama,” “dada,” “baba” (for bottle), “dog,” and “cat”. As your child continues to grow, they will start using more and more words and putting simple phrases together.

12-24 Months: Two-Word Phrases

By the time they’re about 18 months old, many babies are starting to put two words together to make simple phrases. For example, they might say “more milk” or “doggy go”. This is a sign that your child is making progress in their language development and is on their way to speaking in full sentences.

If your child is having difficulty reaching these milestones, it’s important to seek help from a speech therapist. A speech therapist can evaluate your child’s speech and language development and provide personalized therapy to help them reach their full potential.

Speech therapy can help with:

  • Improving speech sounds: A speech therapist can help your child improve their pronunciation and speech sounds. This can make it easier for them to communicate with others and be understood.

  • Increasing vocabulary: Speech therapy can help your child expand their vocabulary by teaching them new words and phrases.

  • Enhancing comprehension: Speech therapy can also help your child understand what they hear and improve their listening skills.

  • Building confidence: When a child feels confident about their speech and language skills, they are more likely to participate in social activities and engage with others.

As a speech therapist and owner of The Magic Speech Bus, I understand the importance of early language development and am dedicated to helping children reach their full communicative potential. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s speech or language development, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m here to help!

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