• Heather Pawelkiewicz

May is better hearing and speech month!

Feature Fact Friday!

We couldn't go through the entire month of May without acknowledging "Better Hearing and Speech Month." The Better Hearing and speech month campaign was founded by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in 1927. Initially, the purpose of this campaign was to promote hearing screenings and hearing loss prevention. Today, this campaign also promotes awareness of speech and language disorders and early intervention.

If you are a first time mom, you have no doubt been wondering if your child is developing typically. You search for your information on the internet, but which sites are reliable?

Here are some developmental norms to ease your mind.

0-3 Months: Your baby will vocalize some sounds (k, g, h - what we refer to as cooing) and they will have a variety of cries. A smile becomes meaningful and there will be some brief eye contact. Your baby will respond to noises in her environment and will follow a moving object with her eyes.

4-6 Months: Your baby will start to babble, and you will likely babble back. Your baby will also laugh out loud and you will too! Now is the time where your baby will imitate sounds, smile, and "talk" to her reflection in the mirror. Your baby will anticipate certain activities such as bedtime and feeding. This is also a time when "stranger danger" takes place; no offense family and friends, but this is all part of typical development.

7-9 Months: Your baby's sound repertoire is expanding, as she is now able to produce several more sounds. This babbling will sound like music to your ears. Watch out, though, baby is now learning that the louder she is, the more attention she will receive. Toward the end of these months, your baby will start to wave "bye-bye" and play some simple games like patty-cake and peek-a-boo.

10-12 Months: Your baby is now approaching her first word (and be sure to document that one) and can understand several words. Your baby is now responding to her name, pointing to objects, and responding to "no"...well, sometimes.

Don't be alarmed if your baby is not doing every single thing on this developmental guide. There is a spectrum of what is typical for all babies. However, if you do have any concerns, talk with your pediatrician. When a hearing or speech/language disorder is identified earlier, the outcome will be much better. Early intervention is best and many states offer programs for children under the age of three, provided they qualify.

I can't recommend early intervention enough. It has been my experience that many parents will wait until kindergarten, as they have heard that the school will do the evaluation and begin treatment. Often, starting therapy in kindergarten is late. Birth to age three is the most critical time for learning language and by starting treatment within that window, you will see the most progress in your child.

OFY activity cards
Our First Year Activity Cards

Therapy is a good start when dealing with a hearing, speech, or language disorder, but it should not only occur at the clinic. Here are some ideas on how you can work with your baby to maximize their developmental potential: Number 1, buy the Our First Year backpack :-) Once

you have the backpack, then you have access to all of the activity cards to enhance playtime with your baby. In addition to the backpack, you can respond to your baby - imitate their sounds and faces. You can also talk about your day (yes, it will likely be a monologue) and build vocabulary with your baby. Talking to your baby also promotes eye contact, turn-taking skills, and understanding of intonation and tone of voice.

Remember, when in doubt, talk to your pediatrician. Early intervention is the best gift you could ever give to your child. A close second is the Our First Year backpack. Order yours today! The tools you's all in the bag!

#earlyintervention #betterhearingandspeechmonth #speechandlanguage #speechtherapy

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