Talk by 2 and Beyond!

What you say and do helps a child communicate with you

Talk by 2 and Beyond! is an early identification and prevention strategy based on recent pediatric studies. Early identification makes a difference, it is the key to a child’s best start in life and is crucial to their life success. At First Words, early identification of speech and language delays as well as promotion of good language building strategies are important.

Act early! Early identification makes the difference. Refer families to First Words for a telephone screening (November 2016 ONLY) or as of December 5th, 2016, the Communication Checkup, an online screening tool. Alternatively, you can have them call Ottawa Public Health Iinformation at 613-580-6744 to speak to a Public Health Nurse.

Know the signs! Use the First Words milestones to see how a child is doing.

We have a variety of materials available to help encourage speech and language development and identify the delay early. Help us spread the message because an early referral can mean a world of difference in a child’s life!

  • The best time to affect brain and behavioral growth is between the ages of 0 to 30 months. Early cognitive development is primarily driven by biology.
  • Children can be referred at any age. Whether they are 6 months or 24 months, children can be referred. Early referral and intervention before the age of 30 months result in better and faster outcomes for the child.
  • Children should communicate for the same reasons as adults do by age 1: By 12 months, infants should use communication to show, to label, to protest or refuse, to interact – just like adults do. But they will use the tools infants have: sounds, babbling, smiles, facial expressions, gestures and some words.
  • Children must babble by 12 months: Children with limited sounds or who don’t babble (ex: bada) by 12 months continue to have fewer words at 18 months, 24 months and even, 36 months. Refer early!
  • Children at 24 months use 100-150 words and 2-4 words sentences: Research shows that 50% of children who do NOT show these milestones at 24 months have persistent delays at age 3.
  • Children’s speech and language continue to develop after their second birthday. Check out the milestones for children until age 5.

“Think E-I-E-I-O to communicate with your child”

Helping children learn to talk is as easy as E-I-E-I-O. These simple rules are a great way to get children on the right path to healthy speech and language development!

Explore together

  • Be face to face while you play, sing, read and talk.
  • Name and describe things you see and actions you do together.
  • Repeat words often: “shoe OFF, sock OFF, shirt OFF”.

Imitate and Interpret

  • Imitate: copy what your child says and does all day long, every day.
  • Interpret: when your child points, smiles, makes sounds or uses words, say what you think they means.

Expand and Extend

  • Expand on what your child says by adding 1 or 2 words.  If they say “tat”, you say “Big cat. Cat is running.”
  • Extend with a new idea.  If they say “tat”, you say “The cat has claws to climb the tree.”

Include choices

  • Use simple questions instead of Yes or No questions:  “Do you want to wear the striped shirt or plain shirt?”

Observe, Wait and Follow your child’s lead

  • Take turns listening and talking.
  • Watch, wait and get interested in your child.
  • Let them take the lead when playing, reading and talking together.