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Girl on her first birthday with cupcake

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This month, we are sharing ways to promote speech and language milestones for one-year-olds! One of the biggest milestones for one-year-olds is their first word, but there are other skills we hope to see develop around the 12-month mark as well. For one-year-old milestones, please visit our blog, “Speech and Language Milestones: What to Expect from Your 1-Year-Old.” Here are some ways that you can support your little one at home:

  1. First word: Choosing words with early developing consonant sounds will help your kiddo be more successful with imitating new words! The early developing consonant sounds include: /b, p, m, d, t, n, h, w/. You’ll also want to think of what words are going to be functional! Think about words that match what your child wants to say as well as words that your child needs to say. For example, “eat” is a relatively easy word for little ones to say (i.e. starts with a vowel sound and has the consonant sound /t/), and it’s also extremely powerful! Here are some words to consider: Bottle, bye, up, pop, mama, more, dada, dog, toy, no, night night, hot, hit, water, woah, wow! Remember, repetition is key! The more your child hears a word, the more likely he/she will imitate the word. 

  1. Gestures: We know that motor imitation precedes speech imitation so let’s use fingerplays and songs to help develop motor imitation. If your baby is not yet imitating the gestures from these songs, you can take their teeny tiny hands and show them what to do. It can be super helpful if your baby has someone to watch while you help them with the movements. Once motor imitation has been established, try introducing some simple baby signs. Again, it’s important to think about what is functional! I typically like to introduce signs for “more,” “eat,” “help,” “all done” and “please,” however, it may be really important for your child to be able to request “milk” or a specific toy. You can visit  babysignlanguage.com to learn the signs for various words! Another source is Baby Sign Language Dictionary, on Amazon.

  1. Receptive language: Books are a GREAT way to work on building your child’s receptive language. As you read, point to the objects that you are naming or talking about. Books by Karen Katz (e.g. Where is Baby’s Belly Button?, Zoom, Zoom Baby) and the Baby Touch and Feel books by DK are perfect for this age. 

  1. Imitation: Make imitation fun! Start by imitating what your child does (sounds, words and actions). The sillier you are, the more likely he/she will engage with you.
  1. Social Language: Encourage your child to wave (or say) “hi” and “bye” at the grocery store, at the doctor’s office or even at home! Social language games for this age include: 
  • Peek-a-Boo
  • Pat-a-Cake
  • Row, Row, Row Your Boat
  • The Grand Old Duke of York
  • Open, Shut Them
  • Bumpin Up and Down (in my little red wagon) 

If you can, encourage siblings to participate in these games! Babies love the big kids! 

If you have questions about your child’s speech and language development, contact us to schedule a free phone consultation or click the link below to take our Therapist Match Survey. Our experienced team will match your child with an experience speech pathologist based on their unique needs. 

COVID-19 Protocol

We hope you and your family are continuing to stay safe and healthy! We have outlined our protocols for in-person sessions during COVID-19. As you know, the health and safety of our clients and therapists remain our highest priority. As always, please reach out with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we work together through these unprecedented times.


Hand Washing:
Upon arrival at your home, your therapist will wash their hands with soap and water and/or use hand sanitizer. We ask that you and your child also wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer upon your therapist’s arrival.
 
Facemasks:
We are asking our therapists to wear masks upon entering your home and throughout your child’s session. That said, we understand that some children have adverse reactions to seeing adults in masks and will leave it up to you and your therapist to decide your comfort level while still taking safety precautions.
 
We ask that parents and caregivers also follow the guidelines and wear masks when sitting in on sessions. We will not enforce that policy, but we do kindly ask for compliance.
 
As for your child, we realize that masks may not be appropriate for every child so we will not enforce the rule that children over the age of 2 should wear a mask.  However, if your therapist insists that your child wear a mask, then that will be a requirement directly between the two of you. We respect our therapists’ individual comfort levels with safety precautions and ask that you respect them as well.

 

Protocol Acknowledgment and Health Certification:

Before your child’s first in-person session, we are asking clients to submit an acknowledgment of these protocols and a health certification, which you can find here. Thank you again for your cooperation and for helping all of us stay healthy!