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Building Healthy Brains

Baby’s brains are wired to develop based on what they hear, see, smell and touch. The experiences babies have help form neural connections in the brain, even before they are born. Connecting builds Connections both between people, aka relationships, and neural connections in our brains. Assessing to what extent your baby can hear and see is vital in making sure these neural connections can be made. Baby’s brains are wired for language: verbal or manual.

When words are spoken or signed to and with a child neural connections form. More neural connections increase processing speed over time. Connecting (with responsive caregivers) actually builds the neural network foundation (Connections) needed for future academic learning and literacy as well as the ability to form vital human connections.

However, merely hearing or seeing words is not enough (words heard from a screen do not count). Parents and caregivers play an essential role in speech and language development. Frequent, daily back and forth conversations (connecting) lasting 6 turns is optimal for neural pathways to build Connections. Do not wait and see. A child’s vocabulary at age 2 correlates to all future academic success. Our program advises no screen time under 2 years. 

Signs of Hearing Loss:

Lack of attention to sounds (birth-1 year)
Does not respond when you call his/her name (7 months-1 year)
Does not follow simple directions (1-2 years)
Shows delays in speech and language development (birth-3 years)
Pulls or scratches at his/her ears

Signs of Delayed Speech and Language Skills: 

Does not smile or interact with others (birth and older)
Does not babble (4-7 months)
Makes only a few sounds or gestures, like pointing (7-12 months)
Does not understand what others say (7 months-2 years)
Says only a few words (12-18 months)
Words are not easily understood (18 months-2 years)
Does not put words together to make sentences (1.5-3 years)
Has trouble playing and talking with other children (2-3 years)
Has trouble with early reading and writing skills (2.5-3 years)
Isn’t able to tell a simple story (4-5 years)  

Tulsa Health Department’s Child Guidance program provides speech-language pathology services for children up to the age of 12. Charges for services are based on your family size and income. Sooner Care and some private insurances are accepted. You won’t be refused services if you are unable to pay. Services provided include:

Speech-language screenings
Speech-language assessment and intervention
Training parents/caregivers to enhance communication
Autism screenings
Classroom consultations

To request an appointment or more information please click here or call 918-594-4720.

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