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Typical Speech and Language Acquisition in Infants and Young Children

Bowen, C. (1998). Typical speech and language acquisition in infants and young children. Retrieved from

If progress seems too slow

If 'first words' have not emerged by 18 months make a concerted effort to spend half an hour a day just playing and interacting one-to-one with your baby. This can be difficult to organise in larger families, but it often does the trick! How to set these times up and maximise their usefulness can be discussed with an SLP/SLT, who may suggest and demonstrate various activities.

Trust YOUR judgment

You might be advised by a kindly friend, relative or "non-SLP" professional that your child is too young for an assessment or to "Leave it for six months"(before seeking an assessment). This may not be appropriate advice. Most parents know instinctively if all is not well with their own child's development.
Follow your instincts!

When to seek help

Even though they are concerned that their child's speech and language development may be unusual or slower than normal, people may hesitate to seek the professional advice of a speech-language pathologist. Sometimes this is because they are advised against it by reassuring friends, family and others. But sometimes it is because they think the child is too young to 'be assessed'.  

The fact is, babies or toddlers are never too young for a communication skills assessment. Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) see children from infancy.

The very very young clients SLPs include on their caseloads may have cleft palate, hearing impairment, developmental disability (for example, Down Syndrome) or they may have been identified early as being "at risk", unduly silent, withdrawn or unresponsive to the communicative attempts of others. Or they may simply be late talkers

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