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Accelerate your baby's talking skills

Updated on July 21, 2013
Baby Talk is a guide to teaching your child how to communicate
Baby Talk is a guide to teaching your child how to communicate | Source

Baby talk: maximise your child's potential in just 30 minutes a day, by Dr Sally Ward

Help babies and young children develop their language skills!

Dr Sally Ward's book, "Baby Talk" shows parents how to maximise children's language development.

Language therapist Sally Ward shows parents that they don't have to spend every waking moment trying to accelerate their language skills. She advocates spending just half an hour per day of specialised time with a baby or toddler. She says this is enough to assist children to develop their language skills. She does place the proviso however, that for maximum effectiveness, this half hour should be particularly devoted to the child, without other distractions, for both the child and adult. This includes removing other noises, such as turning off the television or radio.

Ward's basic strategy is for parents or carers to spend a daily half hour of time carefully talking to children.

Children's language skills develop through exposure to language. The more simple, clear language they are exposed to, the better their chances of improving their communications skills. Each chapter of the book provides a detailed program of suggestions of what to do during the half hour sessions for the particular age the child is at. The program ideas are simple and easy to enact. They are also enjoyable for the child. For example, Ward encourages parents to simply play with their child. During this time make an effort to follow the child's attention and verbally label objects they are looking at. For example, if a child is looking at a toy car, say "car."

One of the things I like about this book, is that Ward focuses on the development and enjoyment of the child. She discourages any sort of testing of the children. This includes discouraging the asking of questions. Her justification is that if you ask a child a question and they know the answer, there was no point asking it, as you are not expanding their knowledge. Alternatively, if the child does not know the answer, then it is likely you have made them feel uncomfortable.

Basically, Ward's methods are based on children's natural desire to learn. Babies and toddlers gain a sense of achievement and enjoyment as their communication skills expand. This encourages them to keep wanting to know more. Ward's strategy also encourages some lovely opportunities to bond with your child and learn together with them. It also provides a lovely base for children's future learning.

Ward's book is divided into chapters according to the age of the child from birth to four years of age. Each chapter has a useful section on developmental milestones. She outlines what children are generally interested in at a particular age. She suggests toys and activities that may also appeal to children according to their age. Ward also has a handy list of books at the end of each chapter that are recommended for each age.

This book was well worth the money for the information on how children develop alone, and what to expect from children at each age.

Ward's Baby Talk program is designed to establish foundations for later learning and communication skills. She stresses the importance of learning taking place in a stress free, fun environment. It is a very easy to read, inspirational book. It will provide a useful addition to anyone interested in assisting the development of their child.


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