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Talking: Encouraging my baby to begin talking

Here are some suggestions for encouraging your child to start talking.

  • Try to respond to whatever type of communication your child makes, such as pointing and gesturing.

  • Provide your child with a model for conversation. For example, ask some questions and talk about what your child is doing and what you and other family members are doing.

  • Try to speak slowly, naturally and clearly to your child.

  • Read stories together.

  • Give your child lots of opportunity to be with other children to hear their conversations.

  • Try to help by putting your child's feelings into words in situations that make him frustrated.

  • Sing and dance to music together.

If you find that your child makes no attempt to speak by 18 months, doesn't use many gestures to communicate, or seems to have trouble understanding what is said, discuss this with your child's physician, or call the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists at 1-800-259-8519.

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Intellectual Development - Language: 12 to 18 months
Intellectual Development - Language: 18 to 24 months
Intellectual Development - Language: 2 to 3 years
Intellectual Development - Language: 3 to 4 years
Intellectual Development - Language: 4 to 5 years
Intellectual Development - Language: 6 to 12 months
Intellectual Development - Language: Birth to 6 months
What to Expect: 12 to 18 Months
What to Expect: 18 to 24 Months
What to Expect: 6 to 12 Months
What to Expect: Birth to 6 Months
What to Expect: Your 2 to 3 Year Old
What to Expect: Your 3 to 4 Year Old
What to Expect: Your 4 to 5 Year Old

Answers for Parents
Hearing Problems: Signs of a hearing problem
Hearing Problems: What to do
Speech and Language: Frequently asked questions
Speech and Language: Problems and their causes
Speech: Serious stuttering
Speech: Signs of problems
Speech: Stuttering
Talking: Encouraging my quiet child to speak
Talking: How to help my child learn to pronunce words correctly
Talking: Learning more than one language
Talking: Learning pronunciation and grammar
Talking: My child doesn't like to speak
Talking: Setting the stage
Talking: Typical pronunciation problems
Talking: Understanding my child's speech
Talking: What if I can't understand my child's talk
Talking: What to expect
Talking: Why hasn't my child begun to speak yet?

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