As stated in this discussion’s introduction communication is one of the primary skills infants and toddlers must grasp. It all begins with those subtle and loud cries and eventually leads to actual language development. There is a process of communication that takes place from infancy to the toddler stages. Between two- and six-months infants are able to make vowel like noises associated with cooing and babbling sounds. Even at birth infants communicate through eye contact and it eventually leads to give and take interactions (Berk 2023). Social games such as pat-a-cake and peek-a-boo lead to imitative exchanges that produce the acquisition of language and communication skills.
Language development is an essential part to the milestones infants and toddlers achieve. It the process that helps toddlers communicate and understand language. Language development ties into cognitive and social-emotional development as well. Each week toddlers add new words to their vocabulary. Genetic and environmental circumstances contribute to the progress toddlers have in producing their language. Characteristics such as the temperament of a child influence how well he or she develops language as well. “For example, shy toddlers often wait until they understand a great deal before trying to speak” (Spere et al., 2004). So, a toddler’s language development differentiates between eight and eighteen months old.
There are influences that can hinder the development of language for infants and toddlers, and unfortunately can make them miss the milestone. In order to achieve social-emotional development a child must be able to effectively communicate based on their age. For example, a child may have a language delay, which would barricade their ability to communicate. Speech, hearing, and cognitive impairments can negatively affect their language development. These considerations can cause a toddler to miss certain language milestones. A few symptoms that can occur are difficulty following directions and putting words in a sentence, poor pronunciation and articulation, and even an inability to speak in short sentences by age three. The older the child gets the more difficult it may be for social-emotional development.
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