Information for parents with questions about speech and language development

Welcome to, your resource for the tools you need to empower yourself and your child!

Did you know?

  • Language development begins in the womb. Infants less than an hour old can tell the difference between the language of their parents and a foreign language.
  • Children are born wanting to talk and communicate with the adults in their lives—that's you!
  • The first year of life is critically important for language development, even though many babies do not say any words during this period.
  • How, and how much, you talk to your children from birth to age three has a huge influence on their language skills in school.
  • Babies can communicate many of their needs and wants before they start talking, and how you respond can help them learn the words and phrases they will use later.

If you're reading this, chances are you're worried. You may be worried that your child has a communication delay or disorder and wondering how to find out for sure. Your child may already have been identified with a speech delay or a language disorder, and you're wondering where to turn for help.

Perhaps your child is already receiving speech therapy, but you're wondering if there's more you can do to help your child speak better.

If any of this is true for you, then I'm here to help. I want you to get the information you need about child language development and communication disorders so that you can do what you need to do to help your child. I became a speech-language pathologist (SLP) because I wanted to help children with communication disorders communicate better. I quickly learned that the best way to help children is to work with their parents and provide them with therapy ideas to use at home. Children's language development progresses best when their parents become their own private live-in speech therapists.

There are two main reasons for this:

1. The math. There are 168 hours in a week. If your child is already receiving services from a qualified SLP, that's great. But if your child gets an hour of therapy a week, that leaves 167 hours in which you can supplement what the SLP has been doing in therapy, and increase the value of the therapy sessions.

2. Life is uncertain. Even the best SLP in the world can move to another state, take maternity leave, win the lottery and retire, go to jail for tax fraud, or whatever. And if you, the parent, have not gotten the resources and information you need to help your child talk better, then you—and your child—are back to square one, wondering what to do.

That's why I'm here. That's why this website is here. I want you to get the resources and information you need so that you can stop worrying and start helping your child talk better. Whether you get that information here on my website, or someone else's website, or off-line somewhere, is not important. What's important is getting you together with the information. If you don't find the resources you need here, I hope that one of the links I provide will lead you to what you need. If not, I have a contact form you can use to ask me questions; if you give me permission, I'll post your question on the site, along with my answer, because if you have a question, chances are others are wondering the same thing. Of course, if I post your question, I will protect your confidentiality by not including your name or any identifying information.

Read on, and good luck!

Robert Kurtz, Speech-Language Pathologist

Speech-Language Development Blog
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Look here for product reviews of books, software, and toys you can use to help develop communication skills.
Child language development: create a language-rich environment
Child language development happens best in a language-rich environment where parents and caregivers talk to children frequently using a wide vocabulary.
Evaluation and speech therapy: getting help for your child.
Getting speech therapy services for your child usually involves a number of steps. Exactly how you go about it depends on a number of factors.
Speech therapy games to use at home
You can spend a lot on speech therapy games, or you can use familiar games you probably already own as part of your home program.
Common mistakes made by parents of children with communication disorders
Communication disorders can have any number of causes, but if your child has one, it's not your fault. Still, avoiding these common pitfalls will help you help your child more effectively.
Articulation skills and disorders
Children with impaired articulation skills are easy enough to identify; but what do you do about it?
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism spectrum disorder is a general term for a number of developmental disorders that vary widely by type and severity.
Phonemic Awareness
<b>Phonemic awareness</b> is the ability to identify and mentally manipulate the sounds (phonemes), sound sequences, and sound structures in a syllable or word.
Hearing Loss in Children: a risk factor for speech and language
Hearing loss in children is a frequent contributing factor to speech and language impairment. Find out how to tell if your child has a hearing loss and what to do about it.
Preschool temper tantrums and meltdowns: the 'hidden handicap'
Preschool temper tantrums and meltdowns are a common concern for parents of children with communication disorders. Fatigue and over-stimulation may be to blame.
Questions and answers on speech and language development
Here are some of the questions my visitors have asked me, and my responses.
Contact Robert or ask a question
If you need to contact me for advice or you have a question that isn't answered elsewhere on the site, here's the place to ask me.
My SiteBuildIt! Success Story
I used SiteBuildIt! to create a profitable web site. You can, too! Here's how I did it.
About me
Robert Kurtz, speech-language pathologist, bio and background.
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Privacy Policy
My privacy policy describes how I protect my customers', consumers' and online visitors' privacy on my website.
Unilateral hearing loss in children
Children with unilateral hearing loss are at risk for speech and language delays and difficulty in school, even though they "can hear just fine" with the unaffected ear.

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