The early years of life are the time of life when the brain is developing and maturing. This is the period for acquiring speech and language skills. The environment which is rich in sounds, sights and has a constant exposure to speech and language of others helps in the acquisition of these skills.
What are voice, speech, and language?
Voice, speech, and language are vital for communication.
Voice is the sound produced as air from our lungs is pushed between vocal folds in our larynx, causing them to vibrate.
Speech involves the coordinated use of muscle of the tongue, lips, jaw, and vocal tract to produce the recognizable sounds that make up language.
Language is a set of shared rules that allow people to express their ideas in a meaningful way. It may be expressed verbally or by writing, signing, or by gestures, such as eye blinking or mouth movements.
Language can be receptive language and expressive language. Receptive language means understanding what other’s say and expressive language means being able to express your own thoughts.
Anatomy of Voice BOX?
The larynx is also called the voice box. It has two bands of muscle that form the vocal cords.They are open during inhalation and come together to close during swallowing and phonation. When closed, the vocal folds may vibrate and modulate the expelled airflow from the lungs to produce speech and singing.
When do they start talking ?
Babies Start talking the moment they are born with their first cry . Whenever hungry, wet or any discomfort newborn communicate by crying. But soon they go through a huge leap in language development which increases their capacity to express with words and actions. From birth to 3 months of age infants become alert at sounds , try to move head in the direction of familiar voices and looks at speakers mouth. “ Babbling “ starts at 3 to 4 months which marks the beginning of real communication where babies start building social relationships by smiling, laughing,vocalizing pleasure and displeasure. First Babbles include “p” “b” and “m” , sounds like “puh” “buh” and “muh”.
By the time baby is 9 to 12 months old will wave bye-bye says one-two words; responds to “no”, will babble longer strings with nonsense syllables using the intonation and mimicking the rhythm of an adult talk. First word may happen around the first birthday which may be “ Dada”, “Mama”, “papa”. By 18 month of age will follow one step command and will have a vocabulary of 20 to 100 words. By 2 years of age vocabulary will increase to more than 200 words and will start speaking 2 word phrases , uses question intonation , repeats overheard words , starts using pronouns and understands small questions like where? , What’s that ? As your little one is blooming with passage of time your child at 3 years of age will have a much more vocabulary of about 800 to 900 words , will use 2 to 3 words conversation , may answer using “yes” and “no”. May refer to self as “me”. It is the most joyful feeling to converse with your little one and trying to know what is on their mind. At 4 years they start expressing themselves , they can have a conversation and make small sentences of 4 to 5 word phrase, tell stories , will start expressing their feelings , will enjoy poems and some sense of humor as well.
Towards the end of their preschool age they start asking questions using who?, why?, where ? and how ?and also start answering these questions. They start tellings their name and complete address and can speak longer sentences.
How to aid your babies speech and language?
* Engaging in a conversation and talking to your baby.
* use different tones and syllables.
* Pause after speaking and give your baby time to respond.
* sing to your baby
* talk to your baby may not understand your words but will recognize your voice
* play games like “pat a cake” , “peek a boo” with action .
* show your child mirror at about 6 to 9 months of age and ask “who is that ?”.
* can point and show the body parts
* Engage your child in pretend play.
RED FLAG SIGNS :
A child who has not spoken first meaningful word by the age of 16 – 18 months.
A child who is not able to make a 2 word phrase by 2 years.
A child who may have said his/ her first words by 18 months but subsequently the developmentdid not keep pace.
A child who may have said his / her first syllables between 9 – 18 months but thisregressed.
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