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Raising Children

Speech and Language Development

Speech and language development impacts how your child plays, communicates and interacts within daily routines and activities. You can help your child learn to communicate by using a variety of strategies to build their speech and language skills, such as being face to face, pausing and waiting for your child to communicate, following your child's cues and interests, commenting, taking turns, and more.

You can monitor your child's speech and language milestones regularly, from birth to 6 years, by completing the Looksee Checklist by NDDS.

Speech and language programs can help children develop communication skills.

Speech and language services might be helpful if your child has any of these challenges:

  • Play: having a hard time playing with toys or other people
  • Language skills: challenges understanding what is said, or expressing themselves with gestures, words or sentences
  • Social skills: difficulty interacting with others
  • Speech sound development: a hard time making speech sounds and words so that they can be understood
  • Feeding: difficulty eating age-appropriate foods

Watch these Videos:

Hanen Centre: You are the key to your child's first words

Hanen Centre: What role do parents play in early language intervention?

Help and Support:

Simcoe County Early Intervention Services: Preschool Speech and Language Program

District of Muskoka: One Kids Place - Speech-Language Services

The Hanen Centre - Language development support

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