Is your baby 24 months old or 31 months old?

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Infant Language Centre at
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Is your baby 24 months old or 31 months old?

Post by Infant Language Centre at » Mon, 24 Oct 2011 8:12 am

We, at the National University of Singapore (NUS), are interested in understanding how babies learn their first words.

If your baby will be about 24 or 31 months old in the next month and you’re interested in participating in our research, we would be very happy to hear from you! Depending on your child's language background, we'll contact you to schedule a session if we find your child suitable.

What should I expect?
Your baby will sit on your lap and listen to a set of words accompanied by pictures. We will be interested in the pictures that your child looks at in response to the words. We will also have you fill out a questionnaire on your child’s language history which will take you about 5 to 10 minutes. Yes, it’s really that simple!

How will my baby and I benefit?
At no cost, we will do an assessment of your child’s vocabulary development using standardized assessment instruments. Receive $20 for your child’s participation in this study. Your travel expenses to and fro the Infant Language Centre at NUS will also be reimbursed.

If this sounds interesting and simple enough, feel free to contact us! Sign up on our website at http://blog.nus.edu.sg/babytalk/enquiries. You may contact Ms. Calista Chan by email (psycjc@nus.edu.sg) or by phone at 6601 1718. If you’d like to find out more, please dont’t hesitate to contact us for more information, we will be happy to assist you.

Visit us at http://blog.nus.edu.sg/babytalk to find out more!

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 24 Oct 2011 8:44 am

Normally, I would delete a post of this nature if posted without express permission asked & given. I'm leaving it only because of the nature of the study........

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Post by gravida » Mon, 24 Oct 2011 5:09 pm

First words at 24 or 31 months? That is considered a speech delay...

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 24 Oct 2011 5:41 pm

I wanted to say the same thing, but when I first came to Singapore in 1982, local children weren't expected to start talking until after reaching 2 years of age. Everybody thought my daughter was a genius as she started talking in sentences at 7.5 months. Eveybody wanted to know how. The answer was so simple I lost a lot of respect for the "education" here. I just refused to let anybody talk to my kids in baby talk. Full Stop. Did the same with the second 5 years later, also talking in sentences at 8.5 months. even then it's a slower that what they are accomplishing today with hot housing.
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Post by x9200 » Mon, 24 Oct 2011 5:49 pm

If your kids started to talk in sentences by that age they were baby geniuses even for the standards outside Singapore. Typically babies say their first words around the end of 1st year.

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Post by poodlek » Mon, 24 Oct 2011 6:11 pm

Caleb's saying his first words now and he's ahead of the curve. That's mama, dad, and hey! but no sentences. I'd be very surprised indeed to meet a child who spoke in sentences at his age. (<8 months)
Last edited by poodlek on Mon, 24 Oct 2011 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by JR8 » Mon, 24 Oct 2011 6:23 pm

x9200 wrote:If your kids started to talk in sentences by that age they were baby geniuses even for the standards outside Singapore. Typically babies say their first words around the end of 1st year.
The 2nd one is a 'kin genius on lead vocals. I'll vouch for him there :)

p.s. Edit to add
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkw6vWd2Aec
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Post by Mary Hatch Bailey » Mon, 24 Oct 2011 6:33 pm

There's such a wide range of normal. I have a dear friend who is a speech pathologist for kids >3. Not really a concern in the US either if children don't speak until they are 2.5 or 3. Just like Einstein... My kids are all extremely verbal; always tested off the charts because I imbued their lives with language at every opportunity. I read to them ad nauseum, I talked to them, I called everything by its right and proper name. Of all the things I screwed up as a parent, that's not one of them. :cool:

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Post by JR8 » Mon, 24 Oct 2011 6:46 pm

Surely Perfect-Mom has nothing to prove?

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 24 Oct 2011 8:20 pm

MHB, I think we've finally found something we can agree 100% on! :lol:
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 24 Oct 2011 8:23 pm

Oh, granted, it was only a three word sentence, but a complete sentence no less. "Dad what doing?"

I still have scar on the top of my head where I hit the table coming up from packing my offshore bag! My wife almost dropped her. It was clear enough that even a father could understand it. Mothers, however, can take the strangest noise/gurlge and call it a word! Funny thing, that. :wink:

I guess the shocker was because she never made much noises at all, probably because we didn't park in in front of TV with silly baby shows with baby noises. Instead we talked to her constantly in the buses, cars, etc. (no mrt then) at home, and wouldn't allow other to talk with her unless they used proper English (or at least not Singlish).
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Post by gravida » Mon, 24 Oct 2011 10:23 pm

Oh, if it will only be that simple...
Cutting off TV, talking to the baby, reading, singing etc. Yes, it does help, it should be done, but honestly - speech and language are also pre-written abilities; some skills/lack of them may be inherited, some delays depend on the comorbid conditions, so the stimulation IS important, but will not give the exactly same effect on each and every child.
Speaking in sentences at 7.5 months? Not talking till 3 years old and speech pathologist claims it is normal (as far as I know from work, the developmental norms for speech and language development are exactly the same for U.S. and Singapore simply because in Singapore there is almost no data to create separate norms, too much dialects and too short history of speech therapy in the small red dot)? These are EXTREMELY rare cases.

An average child is expected to reach the following milestones

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 25 Oct 2011 12:18 am

Well, at the time, the family here all though is was because of mixed blood children! :roll: "Mixed blood children with eastern & western blood are normally smarter" What a crock. So, to prove a point, my wife's youngest sister was pregnant when my daughter was about 2 years old. She was married to another Singaporean Indian (same race). I told them to do the same with their child as much as possible, to prove a point. They and their boy started talking at 12 months. A little longer to start but because their control & determination to avoid the baby words/noises by some of the rellies wasn't as firm.

I still believe children learn by imitation. If they only hear proper sounds then that's what they will imitate. Other than the headstart with speaking, I've never tried to hot house my children, although I did have a mandarin tutor for K1&2 & P1 for my daughter as no one speaks the language at home.
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 25 Oct 2011 12:22 am

I looked at your site link. I say I must strongly disagree with the idea of the adults imitating the child. That's one of the reasons why the children take so long to speak properly. I am afraid I don't believe everything written on the internet to be fact. :-|
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Post by gravida » Tue, 25 Oct 2011 8:23 am

Of course children learn through imitation.
The way they learn to talk is OBSERVE (what parents are doing and saying) -> UNDERSTAND (that the word "x" mean a name/concrete action and so on i.e., "off" when the parent is turning off the lights, switching off the microwave etc.) -> IMITATION (they try their best to copy what we are saying).
This is well grounded on research, so what OP, Infant Language Centre at is trying to do has been already done, but in a different context. So far most of the research on language acquisition has been done for people exposed to 1 language or bilingual, while in Singapore it is huge mixture of various languages. And Singlish is actually a separate language with tons of copy-paste structures taken from Mandarin (at least this is what I was told by Mandarin and English speaking speech therapists = simplified sentence structure, syntax comes from the way Mandarin is governed). That is why we do not have any normative assessment tools for Singapore, there are few articles and attempts to work towards it, for example
this one , but it will require more time before there will be actually something suitable available.

When it comes to imitating the child... We have to separate few things, SMS.
Speech, language and communication are related, but different. Speech is a physical act (moving muscles, exhalation, putting sounds together into words); language relates to rules (how to put words together i.e. in standard English the sequence/order of the words is important, you say "I eat cookie", you do not say "Cookie eat I", or you must know to add -s for plurals and third person singulars and so on), communication means ability to pass the message through, so your listener will understand and have a chance to respond (we may communicate without words and we do that on a daily basis i.e., road signs, gestures, facial expressions, emoticons in the internet etc.).
So, what is recommended by American Speech and Language Association relates to all three: speech, language and communication development support. Imitating your child's babbling is important to build up the skills in the communication. You are teaching him/her that what he/she is doing is important, you will listen and respond. You are also encouraging the child to have back-and-forth play/exchange, which may be enjoyable. Finally, once the child is familiar to the format she/he produces sound->parent repeats, it is time to move the play forward and the parent should start the usual way and then add his/her (mother's/father's) sounds/words for the child to copy. This way we are moving from the play encouraging communication to building a layer of speech development, because we may start adding real words to the game.

Of course some children are still able to learn rules of the two way communication and conversation without games like these, but at the same time I can tell that I am trying to play it with my 11.5 months old and he simply ignores me. We were playing the back-and-forth game when he was ard 3 months old and cooing, not babbling, but right now he is not really interested. The only time he was eager to join me in the sound play was when I was hiding and he was trying to find me and he has been "calling" me making his babbling sounds and I was repeating it after him. I presume he joined me in the game just to make me to produce any sounds, so he could locate me basing on my voice. So, it really varies from child to child, but the recommendations on ASHA website are not random, an average child would love to play the sounds game and should benefit from it.

But I am writing way too much, I think :lol:
Last edited by gravida on Tue, 25 Oct 2011 10:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

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