Language and Learning
Parents Can Help Children Succeed in School
"That's just 'baby talk,' I'm sure my child
will outgrow it."
"Everyone in our family was a late talker. My child
will talk when the time is right."
Have you had these thoughts? Usually, there is concern about a
child's speech and language skills if there is no speech by
the age of one year, if speech is not clear, or if speech or
language is different from that of other children of the same
age. Although some children will develop normal speech and
language skills without treatment by the time they enter school,
it is important to identify those who will not.
Early identification of problems increases the chances for
improving communication skills. Speech and/or language delays and
disorders can have a significant effect on personal, social,
academic, or vocational life.
Although the cause is often unknown, certain factors put
children at high risk for speech-language delays, such as preterm
birth, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and hearing loss. These children
should be evaluated early and at regular intervals.
What Can Parents Do?
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) offers
free materials to help parents and caregivers who may have
concerns, including the following brochures.
How Does Your Child Hear and Talk
shows in chart form speech, language, and hearing milestones for
children birth to age five years to determine if professional
help should be sought.
This brochure is also available in Spanish.
provides information specifically on children's language
development, delayed language, and how to get help.
Speech Sound Disorders
provides information on the development of speech sounds, types,
and causes of speech problems.
Getting Ready for Reading and Writing
highlights common speech and language milestones that form the
foundation for literacy. This brochure also suggests activites
for helping young children develop and strengthen communication,
reading, and writing skills from birth through age five
Literacy and Communication: Expectations from Kindergarten
Through Fifth Grade
highlights common speech and language skills, such as listening,
speaking, reading, and writing as they develop from kindergarten
through fifth grade.
Experts know that speech, language, and hearing developmental
milestones are unique for children learning two languages. In
addition to ASHA's Spanish language brochure
How Does Your Child Hear and Talk?
QuÃ© tal habla y oye su niÃ±o?
), ASHA's brochure,
Learning Two Languages (El niÃ±o y el bilingÃ¼ismo
), addresses language development and literacy for children
learning two languages.
For free copies of these brochures or a referral to an
ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist, consumers may call
800-638-8255 (Spanish-speaking operators are available) or go to
- One out of every 5 of our nation's school-age children
suffer from reading failures.
- A majority of all poor readers have an early history of
- A child who is not a fluent reader by 4th grade is likely
to struggle with reading into adulthood.
- It is estimated that 5 percent of children 18 years and
under have hearing loss.
are the professionals who identify and diagnose speech and
are the professionals who treat hearing loss.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing
association for more than 120,000 audiologists, speech-language
pathologists and speech, language, and hearing scientists.
Members of the media may contact
ASHA's media relations
for more information or help with stories.
B-roll on milestones in speech, language, and hearing
development as well as newborn hearing screening are available
for broadcast stories.