Oct 20 2019
We live in a fast paced culture. Today families are constantly on the move with playgroups, school activities, sports practices, and other commitments. Even when a family is at home, there is frequently a frenzied need to find some uninterrupted time to accomplish the everyday tasks that keep a household functioning. Over the past decade parents have become more dependent on media as a way to keep children occupied while cooking meals, doing laundry, paying the bills, or having some personal down time. While a little television may be harmless, there is a correlation between school performance and heavy media usage (Helen J. Watt). Research has not yet established a cause and effect relationship, but it is important to consider that family media use patterns may impact cognitive development or at least educational success. Television, movies and videos are passive, in that a child cannot interact with a program. Interaction is important for language development. Also, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), infant vocabulary growth is directly related to the amount of "talk time" or the amount of time parents spend speaking with them (Brookes;1995, Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experiences of Young American Children). The AAP Media Education Policy Statement (August 1999) states "research on early brain development shows that babies and toddlers have a critical need for direct interactions with parents and other significant care givers for heath brain growth and the development of appropriate social, emotional and cognitive skills".
Speech pathologists know the importance of a rich language and communication environment to cognitive development. In pediatric speech therapy, the setting is full of interesting play-based activities that will build good language skills as well as encourage interaction with others. Relationships are important for child development and a speech pathologist strives to develop a significant, nurturing connection with their client so communicating with a real person becomes rewarding. Training families about the importance of positive, intentional communication with their children is a part of a speech pathologist's role.
Here are a few tips for enriching your child's language development:
If you suspect your child is delayed in developing spoken language or seems to have difficulty understanding language at the same level as his or her same age friends, discuss this with your pediatrician. It might be wise to have your child evaluated by a speech-language pathologist. Plano speech pathology evaluation and treatment is available at Speech & Occupational Therapy of North Texas, .