Toddlers to Be Trained to Improve Their Communication Skills

by VR Sreeraman on  May 14, 2007 at 8:46 AM Child Health News   - G J E 4
Toddlers to Be Trained to Improve Their Communication Skills
Toddlers will be trained how to talk in an effort to apprehend the appalling decline in children's communication skills.

A recent study revealed that half of the kids are not capable to form a sentence together at the age of five.

Therefore, ministers are promoting the use of the unique "early talk" programme, targeted at infants from their initial months to age five, which makes the use of signing, gestures and symbols to develop vocabulary.

Research from the children's charity I CAN exposed last year that half of the youngsters, going up to 84 per cent in some areas, start formal education with "impoverished speech and language".

They are incapable of uttering a full sentence and can comprehend only easy commands.

Additional research by the charity found that parents use up more time watching TV and maintaining the house than conversing with their children.

The charity has brought out teaching kits for staff in nurseries to help respond to the crisis and give confidence to babies and toddlers to "talk" to each other and adults. It will also be intended at children with learning difficulties.

Children's Minister Beverley Hughes sanctioned the plan and said it will be used in 200 Government-backed Sure Start children's centres, assisting 160,000 toddlers.

The charity is by now collaborating with local councils to broaden the scheme to voluntary and private nurseries, potentially capturing more infants.

Other than providing training and classroom resources for staff, the agenda includes a counsel service for parents, who will be given instructions on how to cooperate and converse with their children.

"We know from nursery teachers and reception class teachers that children are coming in with fewer speech and language skills, for example they only use short sentences and their vocabulary is not as enriched," the Daily Mail quoted charity's spokeswoman, Clare Geldard, as saying.

"The environment and society in which we live at the moment is less supportive of developing children's language," she added.

Geldard said that she knew of one speech therapist who found that not any of the three-year-olds she was examining could say more than one word at a time.

"The parents think, 'Oh it will be all right when they get to school - the school will bring them up to the right level'. But if a child is not talking before they go to school, they won't be able to springboard into academic learning," Geldard said.

"Half of them will become frustrated at not being able to understand instructions and express themselves. They will be labelled naughty children.

The remainder, the ones I really worry about, will withdraw and nobody will notice they have a problem until much later," she added.

Source: ANI

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