The Dragonfly Story

Child Development

Children 0 – 6 months:

It is recommended that parents increase the vestibular and kinaesthetic stimulation of the child by:

  • holding, standing and sitting the infant more frequently during the day;
  • encouraging facial gestures;
  • responding consistently to the baby’s signals, and
  • playing games with the baby which encourages response.
Using more of this communication in daily interactions with your child will encourage the child to respond to parents and caregivers alike. 

Children 6 – 12 months:

It is recommended that parents:

  • continue to use natural gesture as part of their communicative style. Use these gestures consistently to mean the same thing; 
  • respond to the infants gestures by indicating it or modifying it for consistent use, for example, placing your hands on your ears for things which are too loud;
  • use pointing to gain shared attention;
  • continue to encourage visual scanning and attention, and
  • actively teach and stimulate particular sounds and words, for example, mum and dad.

Children 12 – 18 months:

It is recommended that parents:

  • create and play games which focus on language as a skill. These games should make maximum use of rhythm, intonation and repetition;
  • continue to play games that encourage visual attention to an auditory signal, and
  • use word combinations using activities like nursery rhymes which use the same principles of kinaesthetic stimulation, rhythm repetition and intonation. For example, nursery rhymes like ‘Incey, Wincey Spider’ and ‘This Old Man’ are excellent for facilitating the use of word combination.

Children 18 to 24 months:

It is recommended parents:

  • use and accept the infants use of gesture;
  • encourage the consistent use and signalling of gesture to mean the same thing;
  • continue to play games that will encourage visual attention to an auditory signal;
  • continue to work with the infant on activities which involve rhythm and intonation;
  • work with a speech pathologist to continue the development of the child’s language processes;
  • continue to actively teach specific sounds, words and word combinations;
  • use repetition, rhythm and intonation, and
  • continue to play games which require the child to visually localise auditory signals such as hide and seek.

Children 24 to 30 months:

It is recommended that parents:

  • play with language and sounds for example, cars make different noises depending on whether it’s a fast car or big car;
  • play with sounds. Talk about words, for example “yummy has the mmmm sound in it”;
  • practice big complex words by using rhythm to tap or clap out words. Keep up the use of rhythm and intonation;
  • continue working with a speech pathologist to expand sound processes taught to child, such as voicing short and long vowels;
  • continue to accept and encourage natural gesture. Children will naturally decrease signing as their linguistic system becomes more specific and developed, and
  • encourage children to listen to and judge grammar, for example “he runned away” becomes “he ran away”.

Click on the buttons above for information about child development at different ages