THERE’S (NOT) AN APP FOR THAT
New parents can take steps early that might help dodge a speech delay later, says Dr. Christine Keeler, a speech pathologist at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center. A big concern? Tablet technology. “Parents often think educational apps on an iPad or smart phone are beneficial,” Keller says, “but they need to be aware of the social isolation they create.” • Start communicating with
your baby immediately. • Encourage literacy. Read
to your children. • Model good language behaviors. Speak slowly and in a relaxed way. Make eye contact. • Encourage imagination. • Put away the electronic babysitters. “A child who is over-focused on a touch screen or TV screen is not learning to communicate,” Keeler says. “All of these steps will help facilitate better communication and social skills,” she says.