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Knowing what to expect and when – a blog from Mandy Grist, Lead Advisor of Communications at I CAN

This week our blog is dedicated to our membership of the Read On.Get On campaign which is focussing on getting little ones ready to read by helping parents develop 2-5 year old’s communication skills.

A very common question asked during pregnancy is “when can my baby hear me?” – expectant parents are keen to know when they can start talking to their much anticipated boy or girl, when they’ll recognise their voice. Like the answer to that question – we know how children’s speech, language and communication should develop based on their age. It will be different for different children but there are milestones we would expect children to reach by certain ages.

This week as part of Read On.Get On we’re getting information to parents on 2-5 year olds about what to expect and what to do to help your children reach those milestones. This is because a lot of the time that information isn’t freely available and there’s a bit of mystery and guessing quite often as to exactly what children should know and be able to do by certain ages and stages of their development.

And there’s less known about the fact that these skills can be developed by parents and the other adults in their lives by talking with babies and younger children and helping them to get where they need to if they’re going to be ready to read and ready to learn, make friends and take part in life.

I CAN runs the Talking Point website and on there you’ll find information about what to expect from a 0-6 month old baby right through to their late teens- because communication is always developing and it’s a skill that grows and improves throughout childhood and adolescence. Because children do differ in the rates they’ll reach those milestones at but there are things to look out for at every stage in how they talk, listen and take part.

Talking point also includes an easy to use progress checker where you can answer some simple questions and find out where your baby or child’s development is in relation to expected levels. This then helps you use the other information to feel confident about what you’re doing , like talking during nappy changes, telling stories even before words seem to make much sense, telling a reluctant eater the names of foods or a bored car passenger the colours of the other cars in the traffic jam. Our activity cards might help give you some fresh ideas and inspiration perhaps about how to use sounds or how your child will develop language skills from traditional games like snap or happy families if you talk about what they see and why these things are the same.

We also have help at hand if you’re worried about your child’s progress. Check out talking point today.

A blog from Mandy Grist, Lead Advisor of Communications at I CAN