How Parents and Their Young Children Learn to Talk to Each Other

Parents are children’s first language teachers and most children learn to speak and communicate during interaction with their parents. How does this work? What skills and strategies allow parents to be natural teachers for their young children? What do children bring to the task of language learning? This discussion will highlight the processes that make the development of language and communication a dependable outcome in early development and the genetic and environmental factors that may disrupt the normative development of language and communication. Parents will learn how to fine tune their natural strategies for teaching their children to improve communication learning when children have disabilities than disrupt or delay normal development.

Ann Kaiser is the Susan W. Gray Professor of Education and Human Development at Peabody College. Kaiser studies early language interventions for children with developmental disabilities and children at risk due to poverty. Her research has investigated the effects of social communication interventions implemented by early childhood educators, parents, siblings and peers. She has developed and researched a parent and therapist implemented communication program (KidTalk) to improve the language outcomes for young children with mental retardation and developmental disabilities, children with autism and children at risk due to behavior problem.

Contact: Princine Lewis (615) 322-NEWS

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