Top 10 Myths about Early Speech and Language Development
A: Bilingualism itself does not cause language delay. Bilingual children may say their first words slightly later than monolingual children, but it is still within the normal age range.
A: It is true that boys might say their first words and sentences later than girls. However, there is a normal range within which children acquire certain language milestones; and the differences can be only a matter of a few months.
A: It is found that babies and young infants do prefer ‘baby talk’ as it helps them to pay closer attention to speech, voice, as well as the caregivers. ‘Baby talk’ makes it easier for babies and young infants to learn how language works and what words are more important.
A: If you have to introduce screen time to your child, make sure you watch it together and then talk about it and do some follow-up activities so that the screen becomes meaningful in everyday life.
A: Most professionals would agree that a child’s opportunities for babbling, imitating sounds, and engaging in conversations will be reduced if he or she has a pacifier in the mouth most of the time.
A: There are more boys than girls with a variety of language difficulties. The incidence of language impairment is higher among boys than among girls.
A: Research indicates that approximately 40-50% of children who are late talkers (who have typical skills in other areas) without any intervention do not catch up on their own.
A: Learning language is partly innate and partly stimulated by the child’s environment. Children would benefit from raising in a language-rich and stimulating environment so that they can learn and observe how others interact and communicate.
A: Birth order does not determine speech and language acquisition in children. Studies have found that children, regardless of their birth order, should follow a similar language development.
A: It is very unlikely that young children do not talk because they feel lazy. Some children may be shyer or introverted than the others, however, it should not stop them from talking to their parents or caregivers.