Dr. Balog

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In the media/research:

Sosa, A. V., (2016). Association of the type of toy used during play with quantity and quality of parent-infant communication. JAMA Pediatrics, 170, 132-137.

Recent data show that traditional toys, such as blocks, cars and books support language and parent/child interaction better than electronic toys, such as those with beeping buttons or tablets (Sosa, 2016).

When playing with electronic toys:

  • parents used fewer words with their children
  • parents used fewer conversational turns
  • parents responded less
  • children produced fewer babbles/words

When playing with traditional toys

  • parents used more words with their children
  • parents used more conversational turns
  • parents responded more to their children
  • children produced more babbles/words

Suggested toys for optimal language development:

  • Constructive play: blocks, nesting cups, stacking rings, cars, balls, mega blocks, Legos, puzzles, etc.
  • Symbolic play: dolls, stuffed animals, food, dress up, and other pretend play items.
  • Books

Looking for guidelines to help you know what skills your child needs at the end of the school year? The American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has these available for Kindergarten through fifth grade:

​​​Turning down the ambient noise in your home can help your young children learn language better! Check out the latest research in this media link:
Like Balog Speech & Language Center, PLLC on Facebook for frequent postings on speech and language related material related to children. 

Grammar, Phonology, vocabulary, and pragmatics continue to grow during the preschool and school age  years:

  • Children become able to express themselves increasingly complex ways (requesting predicting, reasoning, etc.)

  • Speech sound development improves and intelligibility becomes clearer

  • vocabulary use increases and the understanding of the relationship between words increases

  • Grammatical morphological function improves ​


Did you know....?

  • ... most babies are aware of their mother's voice before they are born.

  • ...crying is reflexive and tells us an infant's early needs - for example, when they are tired, hungry or are in pain. Around 1 month, infants will begin to coo and goo!

  • ...around 7-10 months, infants begin to replace their "mushy" babbling sounds with clearer sounding babbling. They will begin to saying things like ba-ba-ba-ba and ma-ma-ma-ma.

  • ...around 11-12 months, infants will begin to babble in "gibberish" and they will sound more like they are talking!!!

    • At the same time, they are crawling and may even begin to walk.

    • Also during this time, they become intentional in their communication. This means that for the very first time, they really understand that when they babble they are communicating. They will likely begin to use gestures like pointing or waving bye-bye  at this time, too.

  • ...babies usually learn their first words between 12 and 15 months.

  • ...babies usually learn their first 50 words between 12 and 24 months.

  • ...babies have a sudden interest in words, also known as a vocabulary explosion, around 18 months.

  • ...babies usually begin combining 2 words together sometime after the vocabulary explosion (around 24  months).

  • 24 months many toddlers have 200-300 words in their expressive vocabularies!


Note: Early speech and development is quite variable. Every child develops at his or her own pace and may not meet these milestones at these ages. If you are concerned, please check with your pediatrician or call Balog Speech & Language Center for a consultation. 

talking points

Balog Speech & Language Center, PLLC

Heather L. Balog, Ph.D.,CCC-SLP

1060 Cherry., Plymouth, MI 48170