In this Article
Toddler developmental milestones, Dr. Lisa Shulman.
Today we’re going to go through communication milestones during the first two years (0 – 2 yrs).
This is intended as a public service its goal is to provide parents with the information that they need in order to monitor nurture and really encourage their young.
Child’s communicative potential each of the age groups we look at we’re going to look at three different areas to tell us.
We’re going to look at social engagement attention to language and communicative effort so starting with that seven to eight-month-old a baby of that age is a highly social creature some of the signs of social engagement are.
Eye contact: a baby lighting up really engaging when spoken to making strong eye contact sharing a smile vocalization referencing back refers to looking back at somebody to help make sense of a situation a baby playing with a toy and looking to see somebody else’s
Reaction to what they had before them and then there’s imitating beginning to do what they see in others around them.
Doing in terms of attention to language maybe it’s been paying close attention to everything that the adults in the world have been doing and what are those.
Adults doing they’re doing a lot of talking one of the first things baby is paying attention to and making sense of his often their name and want a baby.
This age here’s their name they should look up in addition if the baby has been introduced to and expected to follow
Commands with a gesture come tomorrow to give it to Daddy this is an age where they are able to follow those.
Early first commands with a gesture in terms of their own ability their ability to communicate what it is that they want and need even before that first word.
Appears a baby this age is highly communicative the signs of communicative intent are making strong eye contact.
Vocalizing: giving a general gesture in the direction of what the child wants now.
We’re going to look at 12 to 15-month-olds what do we expect in terms of social engagement a book they engage in more reciprocal exchanges longer.
So-called conversations back and forth they initiate more the all-important
point: emerges that’s a way to direct somebody’s attention elsewhere they also in a position to understand another’s point they can follow their mother’s.
Point to another activity as well in terms of attention to language in this age group we’re seeing babies able to understand a lot more language and follow commands without that gesture to prompt them good job.
Now when you say bye bye baby we’ll just pick up their hand and start waving bye-bye carrying out the gestures to songs they know down pointing to body parts, yeah in terms of the baby’s own ability to communicate back it’s a very very clear communication.
When a child points it’s something that they want and now parents have been waiting a long time for this that’s on often those first words also appear.
Now we’re going to look at 18-month-olds in terms of their social engagement these are kids.
Who now are not only engaged and imitated and initiating they’re pointing and directing people’s attention
elsewhere and they’re using that a lot to show showing is a real social skill.
When you demonstrate to somebody oh look over there at that train that’s going by or the dog and look back at a parent.
You’re initiating a real social extreme in the area of attention to a language the toddler can follow how many and more.
Complex commands: the toddler has the attention span at this point to engage with a picture book and go back and forth reciprocally with the adult pointing out the things that are labeled or things of interest in terms of their ability to communicate.
We have words to indicate once you need bubbles those same words will.
Now also start to emerge in terms of pretend play because your couch they’ll try to narrate maybe start to make the sounds of the baby sucking or the car moving.
We’re getting vocalization coordinated with potentially the 24-month-old is a social sophisticate she is a ham she wants your attention and she knows how to get it where is the city at the park.
This child social engagement is demonstrated in that forum she’s wanting to show you everything engage you constantly all the time in terms of attention to the language they understand.
Everything around yeah I think that way that looks like the top they understand complex directed oh should wipe it out.
Do you need a cloth to wipe it they understand other people’s conversation there so no better and then in terms of their own communicative ability they should have a vocabulary that’s 200 words.
And growing demonstrate many two word combinations or longer it has nails, in addition, they’re using that language for a wider range of purposes now it’s not only to make requests it’s to direct the
Activities of others it’s to comment it so they don’t want to do something you want to feed them now and they’re bringing that language to their play as well play pretend play really takes off.
Okay, they like pasta look how far our toddler has come in two years we’ve clearly seen that those first words.
Don’t emerge out of the blue there are many things we can monitor along the way to feel assured that things are going in the right direction.
I want to emphasize that there’s a range of normal development children do things at their own pace if a child is demonstrating some delays.
We need to ask ourselves certain questions are we dealing with a hearing impairment is this a concern regarding cognitive.
Is this a sign for autism in this child among other things. And we know from the research on early intervention that the earlier we intervene with each of these difficulties the better the outcome so we’re urging you as parents to bring any concerns you have to your pediatrician. You know your child best and your child’s advocate you.
Dr. Shulman is associate professor of clinical pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.