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Speech 101: How Speech and Language Develop

It's exciting to watch your child's language skills develop over time. From their first cooing sounds to their first words, every step is a milestone to be celebrated. However, it's important to understand the basics of how speech and language develops in children, so that you can support their growth and identify any potential issues early on.

Child plays with wooden trrain.

Speech development begins from birth when babies start to make sounds in response to their environment. At first, these sounds are primarily reflexive and do not have specific meaning. As babies grow and develop, they start to make intentional sounds such as babbling. Babbling involves repeating syllables such as "ba ba ba" or "ma ma ma," and is an essential precursor to speech.

Around the age of one, children begin to say their first words. At first, these words are often imprecise and may be difficult for others to understand. However, as children continue to practice and develop their language skills, their words become clearer and more specific.

Language development also occurs alongside speech development, as children learn to understand and use words and phrases to communicate with others. For example, they may start to point at objects and say a word, such as "ball," to indicate what they want. As they grow, they learn to use more complex language structures, such as sentences and questions.

It's important to remember that every child develops at their own pace. While there are general guidelines for when children should reach certain milestones, there is a wide range of normal development. If you have concerns about your child's speech or language skills, talk to their pediatrician or a speech-language pathologist for guidance. By understanding how speech develops, you can better support your child's growth and ensure they are meeting their developmental milestones.


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