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Look Who's Talking!

Book Review

 

Title:

Look Who's Talking!

Author:

Laura Dyer, M.C.D.,  CCC-SLP

Publisher:

Meadowbrook Press, New York NY

ISBN:

0-88166-465-0

Reviewed By:

Frank Fogg

Review Date:

November, 2003

Rating:

In Look Who's Talking!, Laura Dyer explores the ways that children acquire language skills and the methods parents  can use to assist them. The content covers normal speech development and the  diagnosis and treatment of speech disorders.

From an early age, babies begin communicating by crying and gestures, then later by copying speech patterns from their siblings, peers and parents. While each child has their own schedule, certain milestones should be expected along the path toward gaining speech. Laura Dyer identifies these checkpoints at each  stage of development, and points out the warning signs that can indicate that  the child is not progressing satisfactorily. From birth through primary school, each stage of speech development is discussed, including common "problems"  that are really just part of the learning process. She also highlights the most common speech impediments such as lisping, substitution, consonant and vowel  problems, and stuttering and how they might be treated based on the child's age and stage of development.

In addition to discussing how children develop their speech patterns, the book has a large amount of related information such as games parents can use to help  their developmentally delayed child, the impact of television on infantile learning, and when to use or not use pacifiers, sippy cups, and teething toys. While the  author feels some television can be instructive for children, viewing must be limited to a short time each day, with no viewing for extremely young children  that are better served by interaction with their environment. She also studies  how certain types of programs serve to benefit or hinder the young viewer.

Another section identifies the key things to look for when selecting a daycare setting. Some of these things include a storytelling area, library of age-appropriate  books, playacting activity times and other group activities that help the child to verbally interact with the teachers and their peers. The book also highlights how to find an accredited learning center, getting assistance from government  programs, and specific information for selecting the right environment for special  needs children.

This book also examines why some children have delayed progress in speech development. Some of the contributing factors may include hearing loss and ear infections,  other childhood diseases, and personality issues that result in developmental  delays. Some items to evaluate in determining whether your child's development  is normal include comparison against their peers, related abilities with large  and small motor skills, and the child's cognitive recognition skills. An important point that is made by the author is the need to seek professional help as early as possible if one suspects the child has a problem.

Look Who's Talking! is filled with great advice for any parent, and is of particular interest to those parents that are worried about their child's development or  speech patterns. For parents adapting to their first newborn, this book is a  must-read since it details the best methods for guiding their child along the road to normal speech and communicative skills. The milestone format presentation  of speech development will provide reassurance to the caring and worried parent that their child's small speech problem is not abnormal or unusual, while helping  parents to identify more troubling indications of developmental difficulties  when and if they arise.

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