New York Times Highlights the Importance of Engaging in Meaningful Communication with Your Infant and Toddler

In a recent article in the Personal Health section of the New York Times, Jane E. Brody discusses the importance of “engaging your child with talk” from birth. According to Brody, the hyperconnectivity offered by Blackberrys, cellphones, and ipods has distracted parents from engaging in meaningful communication with their infants and young children. Despite being nonverbal, communication “begins as soon as a baby is born. The way you touch, hold, look at and talk to babies help them learn your language, and the different ways babies cry help you learn their language — “I’m wet,” “I’m hungry,” “I’m tired,” “I hurt,” “I’m overwhelmed” and so forth.” According to Randi Jacoby, a speech and language specialist in New York who is quoted in the article: “Parents have stopped having good communications with their young children, causing them to lose out on the eye contact, facial expression and overall feedback that is essential for early communication development.” The article offers a number of suggestions from the American Medical Association, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and speech-language pathologists on how to improve and increase communication with your infant and young child; including avoiding “baby” words and “baby-talk,” singing songs and nursery rhymes with your child, and giving your child your full attention when they are speaking with you.

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