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Communication

Your baby understands speech before they learn to speak for themselves. They learn from your face and listening to your voice. As they develop they start to respond by using facial gestures and some sound.

Children learn to understand and process speech before they can talk - meaningful speech is the last thing to come! As children get older, communication skills are crucial for reading, learning in school, socialising and making friends, and understanding and controlling emotions or feelings.

Things You Can Do to Help

  • Talk and listen. Encourage your child to take turns in the conversation. Keep your conversation simple and get to their eye level so they can see what you are saying
  • Play together, follow your child’s lead, and let their imagination run wild!
  • Share books together. Read the story or make up a story of your own using the pictures
  • Try not to question your child too much. Instead comment on what they are doing and enjoying
  • Give your child opportunities to be with other children. They can learn a lot from each other
  • Go to Top Tips for Speech for some more ideas.

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you still have concerns about your child's communication, a member of our 0-19 team is able to complete an assessment of your child and refer to other services as needed, including speech and language therapy or hearing assessment.

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