Adult Child Interaction

February 18

The Importance of Adult Child Interaction


Early development of communication is a fascinating area to me as a speech and language therapist, and it starts from birth. 

Babies learn first by watching the world around them.  When we respond to them, they learn about us too. This leads into the early learning through social interaction.  When they copy what they see and get a response, they learn that this can be fun, a social game such as peekaboo etc.  They quickly learn that their actions can have an effect on someone else by noticing the reaction of others.  

These very early interaction skills pave the way for more imitation and learning through play.  A child's exposure to play provides physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. Some research shows that up to 75% of brain development happens after birth, and the early years of a child's life are the foundation for healthy growth and development. Every time a child engages in an activity, the nerve cells in the brain are stimulated and connections are made. 

There is extensive research into the ways that an adult’s interaction helps to shape children’s development and often in the areas we have just seen including attention, imitating, playing cause and effect games etc.  All of these are the building blocks for developing communication. When a child points at something of interest, an adult watching can then label that object and the child has been the one leading that interaction. Children often use gestures before words to initiate communication and even before that they use eye gaze and as adults, we can join them in seeing what they see and starting there.  The most powerful interaction adults can have on a child starts with observing them and following their lead. 

Who knows where it will take us!


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