Join pediatric speech-language pathologist Laura Mize, M.S., CCC-SLP as she explains the 11 prelinlinguitic skjills all toddlers master before words emerge. In this show, we're discussing Skill #1 RESPONDS AND INTERACTS WITH THINGS IN THE ENVIRONMENT. Remember that this skill refers to a child's ability to react to sensory information - or things he can see, hear, touch, hold, and manipulate. The kinds of skills we want to facilitate at this phase are alerting, looking, calming, attending, reaching, grasping, holding, mouthing, waving objects, banging, and then... REPEAT! Here's where we should begin to work with toddlers with severe developmental disabilities and not on teaching them to talk. Why? Because a child who can't do these kinds of things consistently, chiefly alert, react, and interact with things in his or her environment, is not developmentally ready to learn to understand and use words. In this show, I discussed specific activities, ideas, and toys to help improve this area. Remember that this information is best suited for speech therapy for toddlers with severe delays and any young child with a significant developmental disability. As a general guide, this would include children who functioning in the birth to 6 month developmental range. Learning that occurs in this phase happens through exploration with repeated exposure during sensory-enriched experiences. That's a mouthful to say and hard for many parents to understand, so here's how I break it down for the families I see. Our main goal for children who need help to master this first skill is to provide activities to help a child learn to use his senses to explore things in his or her little world. Ideas I recommend for this skill are listed in the post for show #386 at teachmetotalk.com.
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