Early YearsThe importance of communication skills
A range of skills are required for a child’s communication skills to develop effectively.
- Listening and attention – these skills support language learning and include the ability to discriminate sounds and maintain and monitor attention in a shared context.
- Understanding – young children gradually develop the ability to understand words in context, beginning with single words and building on this with phrases and more and more complex sentences.
- Speaking – this allows children to express their feelings, needs and wants, their thoughts and ideas and be able to talk about what has happened and about creative or imaginative events.
- Play – through play, children develop language skills, their emotions and creativity, social and intellectual skills. For most children their play is natural and spontaneous although some children may need extra help from adults. Play takes place indoors and outdoors and it is in these different environments that children explore and discover their immediate world. It is here they practise new ideas and skills, they take risks, show imagination and solve problems on their own or with others. The role that adults have is crucial.
- Social Interaction – social interaction is one of the most important aspects of any child’s development. The benefits will have a lifelong effect on the child and by making sure that they are given a chance for social interaction early, it is ensured that the child will have a solid foundation for their social skills as they grow and eventually become an adult.
Learning to Work with Others
Teamwork is a skill that will be useful throughout life, and it is founded on the principles of sharing, communicating, compromising, and working towards common goals. As children learn to interact and play together, they will begin to understand the appropriate tactics for working well with others.
Developing Communication Skills
While early communication skills are developed by imitating adults, children also need to learn to communicate verbally with peers. Social interaction from an early age is a key factor in learning to speak effectively for clear communication. Through communication with others at places like pre-school, play groups and play dates children also gain a sense of self and learn to identify as individuals, which is a normal part of the developmental process for toddlers.
Understanding Social Cues
Non-verbal communication is another important component of social interaction for children. As children play and learn with other children or their parents, they will begin to understand emotions expressed through facial expressions and body language. Not only will this be valuable in knowing what others are feeling, but it is also helpful for children who are just learning to express themselves.
Friendships are critical for young children, and they are only built through regular social interactions. Because children do not have innate problem solving and conflict resolution skills at young ages, guided social interactions are helpful in forging friendships that will be necessary for building confidence and self-esteem.
Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “bye-bye” are called developmental milestones. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, behave, and move (for example, crawling and walking).
Children develop at their own pace, so it’s impossible to tell exactly when a child will learn a given skill. However, the developmental milestones give a general idea of the changes to expect as a child gets older.
How can the Speech and Language Therapists, at Articulate, help my young child?
- Proven expertise. We have worked with children for over twenty years and have the expertise to ensure accurate and effective understanding and treatment of your child’s communication difficulty.
- Proven Assessment. Our exceptional ability to evaluate your child’s communication and related difficulties affecting their development, for example, hearing, processing of speech sounds, facial muscular development, praxis of speech motor movements, attention difficulties, play skills, social interaction, behaviour and more enables us to plan and treat your child’s communication, with outstanding results.
- Passionate Professionals – Proven Results. We really care about each child’s communication and want to help them achieve the very best results in the least number of sessions. Our expertise, energy and passion combined with current evidence-based practice achieve measurable results which often exceed client expectations.
- Best Healthcare Providers. Twenty years of working in the Healthcare Sector – we are part of a professional network of exceptional children’s specialists, doctors and therapists who can provide additional assessment or treatment that your child may need.
- Hulya Mehmet is one of a select group of Speech and Language Therapists who is a BUPA Registered Provider. BUPA has an extremely stringent criteria and is considered the ‘gold-standard’ in Healthcare.
- Family and child-centred. We understand that your child is at the centre of your Universe. Every assessment and therapy session is bespoke and tailored for the needs of your child’s specific communication needs.
We’re on Your Team. We provide an incredible amount of off-site support for parents, between sessions, we are never more than a text message away from providing help.