The Importance of Early Language Learning for Baby

A report completed by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care explains how high-quality care that includes stimulating language is important to our children and our future.12  Early education is something parents can be in charge of and something that should begin with baby’s arrival. It’s as easy as reading to baby and introducing sign language. Make the most of your baby’s first years: read and sign.

Endnotes:

1. Warner, Jennifer. “Reading to Infants Raises Language Skills,” July 13, 2006, www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,203393,00.html, accessed October 5, 2010.

2. www.readtoyourbaby.com/about_authors.html, accessed October 6, 2010.

3. “Finding the Right Read,” KidsHealth, kidshealth.org/parent/positive/all_reading/right_reads.html, accessed October 5, 2010.

4. “Read-Aloud Tips: Eight Baby Read-Aloud Basics,” Read to Your Baby, www.readtoyourbaby.com/read_eightprinc.html, accessed October 5, 2010.

5. Buchanan, Carolyn. “Shortcut to Genius?” Scholastic Parent and Child, April 2010: 64. Print, www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3753691, accessed October 19, 2010. Further information about the Institute and their mission can be found at this location: http://ilabs.washington.edu/about/index.html.

6. Ibid.

7. Golinkoff, Roberta M. and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, How Babies Talk: The Magic and Mystery of Language in the First Three Years of Life, New York: Dutton, 1999. Print.

8. “Children’s TV Time Linked to Behavior Problems and Health Risks,” Family Resource Connection, Vol. XIII, Issue 1, www.kinderberryhill.com/pdf/tvtimefrckbh.pdf, accessed October 6, 2010.

9. Golinkoff, Roberta M. and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, How Babies Talk: The Magic and Mystery of Language in the First Three Years of Life, New York: Dutton, 1999. Print.

10. “Sign Language for Babies,” www.start-american-sign-language.com/sign-language-for-babies.html, accessed October 6, 2010.

11. Bonvillian, John D. and Keith E. Nelson, “Sign Language Acquisition in a Mute Autistic Boy,” Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders 41, 3, 339–47, August 1976.

12. Todd, Christine, “The NICHD Child Care Study Results: What do they mean for parents, child-care professionals, employers and decision makers?” National Network for Child Care, www.nncc.org/Research/NICHD.ECIresponse.html, accessed October 6, 2010.

 

Marsha Peterson and her son Chad live in the Twin Cities. Chad was born with Down syndrome and autism and learned American Sign Language when he was 1. Marsha published a book to help parents learn American Sign Language at the same time they introduce literacy to their baby. Come Sign with Us: The Adventures of Potts and Friends was published in June 2009 and received a Mom’s Choice Award for Educational Products in February 2010. For more information, visit www.TalkingWithBaby.com.

Copyright, 2012. Used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine, April 2012. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

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