Baby and Toddler Milestones, Dr. Lisa Shulman

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today we're going to go through

communication milestones during the

first two years this is intended as a

public service video its goal is to

provide parents with the information

that they need in order to monitor

nurture and really encourage their young

child's communicative potential each of

the age groups we look at we're going to

look at three different areas to tell us

how communication skills are development

we're going to look at social engagement

attention to language and communicative

effort so starting with that seven to

eight month old a baby of that age is a

highly social creature some of the signs

of social engagement are a baby lighting

up really engaging when spoken to making

strong eye contact sharing a smile and a

vocalization referencing back refers to

looking back at somebody to help make

sense of a situation a baby playing with

a toy and looking to see somebody else's

reaction to what they had before them

and then there's imitating beginning to

do what they see in others around them

doing in terms of attention to language

maybe it's been paying close attention

to everything that the adults in the

world have been doing and what are those

adults doing they're doing a lot of

talking one of the first things baby is

paying attention to and making sense of

his often their name and want a baby

this age here's their name they should

look up in addition if the baby has been

introduced to and expected to follow

commands with a gesture come come

tomorrow give it to Daddy this is an age

where they are able to follow those

early first commands with a gesture in

terms of their own ability their ability

to communicate what it is that they want

and need even before that first word

appears a baby this age is highly

communicative the signs of communicative

intent are making strong eye contact


giving a general gesture in the

direction of what the child wants now

we're going to look at 12 to 15 month

olds what do we expect in terms of

social engagement a book they engage in

more reciprocal exchanges more longer

so-called conversations back and forth

they initiate more the all-important


emerges that's a way to direct

somebody's attention elsewhere they also

in a position to understand another's

point they can follow their mother's

point to another activity as well in

terms of attention to language in this

age group we're seeing babies able to

understand a lot more language and

follow commands with out that gesture to

prompt them good job

now when you say byebye baby we'll just

pick up their hand and start waving

bye-bye carrying out the gestures to

songs they know down pointing to body

parts yeah in terms of the baby's own

ability to communicate back it's a very

very clear communication when a child

points it's something that they want and

now parents have been waiting a long

time for this that's on often those

first words also appear now we're going

to look at 18 month olds in terms of

their social engagement these are kids

who now are not only engaged and

imitated and initiating they're pointing

and directing people's attention

elsewhere and they're using that a lot

to show showing is a really social skill

when you demonstrate to somebody oh look

over there at that train that's going by

or the dog and look back at a parent

you're initiating a real social extreme

in the area of attention to language the

toddler can follow how many and more

complex commands

the toddler has the attention span at

this point to engage with a picture book

and go back and forth reciprocally with

the adult pointing out the things that

are labeled or things of interest in

terms of their ability to communicate we

have words to indicate once you need

bubbles those same words will now also

start to emerge in terms of pretend play

because your couch they'll try to

narrate maybe start to make the sounds

of the baby sucking or the car moving

we're getting vocalization coordinated

with potentially the 24 month old is a

social sophisticate she is a ham she

wants your attention and she knows how

to get it where is the city at the park

this child social engagement is

demonstrated in that forum she's wanting

to show you everything engage you

constantly all the time in terms of

attention to language they understand

everything around yeah I think that way

that looks like the top they understand

complex directed oh should wipe it out

do you need a cloth to wipe it they

understand other people's conversation


so no better and then in terms of their

own communicative ability they should

have a vocabulary that's 200 words and

growing demonstrate many two word

combinations or longer it has nails in

addition they're using that language for

a wider range of purposes now it's not

only to make requests it's to direct the

activities of others it's to comment it

so they don't want to do something you

want to feed them now and they're

bringing that language to their play as

well play pretend play really takes off

okay they like pasta look how far our

toddler has come in two years we've

clearly seen that those first words

don't emerge out of the blue there are

many things we can monitor along the way

to feel assured that things are going in

the right direction

I want to emphasize that there's a range

of normal development children do things

at their own pace if a child is

demonstrating some delays we need to ask

ourselves certain questions are we

dealing with a hearing impairment is

this a concern regarding cognitive

development is this a language

impairment is this a sign for autism in

this child among other things

and we know from the research on early

intervention that the earlier we

intervene with each of these

difficulties the better the outcome so

we're urging you as parents to bring any

concerns you have to your pediatrician

you know your child best and your your

child's advocate