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Children starting school ‘cannot communicate in full sentences’

The Guardian – Pippa Crerar

“More than a quarter of children starting primary school are unable to communicate in full sentences as concerns grow about the amount of time they are spending in front of screens, the education secretary will say in his first major speech on social mobility. Damian Hinds is expected to say on Tuesday that he wants to harness technology so parents can do more to help their children’s early language development.” (more)

Many parents miss speech disorders in young kids

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Many parents don’t recognize the signs of speech and language problems in children, or don’t know that early treatment is important, a new survey finds. “Communication disorders are among the most common childhood disabilities—and they are highly treatable in most cases,” said Elise Davis-McFarland, president of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).” (more)

Honing Students’ Speaking Skills

Edutopia – Heather Wolpert-Gawron

“It’s been a long time since schools focused solely on the three Rs—reading, writing, and arithmetic. Along the way, we realized that there’s so much more that defines a successful student and citizen, and that schools play a central role in training students to improve on a multitude of skills and abilities.” (more)

9 Ways to Encourage Baby’s Speech Development

The Huffington Post – Dr. Gail Gross

“Your baby is a social animal and is dependent on your reactions to his efforts at language. You can reinforce your baby’s speech in a variety of ways by capturing your child’s attention and engaging him in the process of learning. Here are nine ways you can help encourage your baby’s speech development:”(more)

For Kids Who Stutter, Rhythm Perception May Be Key

HealthDay – Amy Norton

“Children who stutter may have difficulty perceiving musical rhythms, a small study suggests. Researchers say the findings could offer some clues to the origins of the speech problem — and even hint at potential therapies…However, the study does not prove that problems with perceiving rhythm actually cause stuttering…Around 5 percent of all children stutter at some point in their lives — usually beginning between the ages of 2 and 5…At one time, stuttering was viewed as an emotional problem, Grossman said. But researchers now know that children who stutter show differences in how their brains process language…the findings raise the possibility that “rhythm training” — including through music — could help some kids with stuttering.”(more)

Dads ‘use adult tone not baby talk’

BBC News – Judith Burns

“Scientists at Washington State University used speech recognition software to analyse differences in parents’ speech patterns…The research detected distinct differences between the ways mothers and fathers spoke to their pre-school children…Mothers’ “baby talk” is believed to promote bonding. Fathers, by contrast, used intonation patterns more similar to those they used when speaking to adult friends and colleagues. But this did not imply fathers were failing to engage with their children, said lead researcher Mark VanDam, professor of speech and hearing sciences at Washington State University. “This isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s not a failing of the fathers,” said Prof VanDam. He suggested the different approach could help children deal with unfamiliar speech patterns and acquire language as they grew up.”(more)