TWIN FALLS, Idaho — The College of Southern Idaho’s Early Childhood Education Program Lab School is dedicated to fostering an environment for children to develop their speech and language skills, during a time where children may be struggling to expand those skills.
St. Luke’s Speech Language Pathologist Alexis Dutko (MSDCC-SLP) said she has noticed a decrease in children socializing, which is one reason children may be dealing with speech and language delays.
One piece of advice Dutko tells all parents is that they can help keep their children on track by being an announcer for their child's life.
“Our kids learn from us, like we are their best models for language,” Dutko said. “So the more they are hearing their parents talk, the more rich their language environment is and the more they absorb.”
Rather than telling a child what to say, Dutko encourages parents to give their kids the opportunity to use language for themselves.
Preschool Facilitator Jamie Bridges said having back and forth conversations with children is one of the best things to build their development.
Teachers in the CSI preschool lab have worked directly with children who haven’t had the opportunity to engage in frequent social interactions.
“Speech is developed through relationships with children,” Bridges said. “Children develop relationships from talking to teachers, to having an attachment to a teacher or parent, and learning a lot of that back and forth language.”
Dutko said early signs that a child may need speech intervention can be spotted through their use of language, how a child plays, engagement and social interactions.