Parents should talk to their children from the earliest months of life. Babies especially enjoy listening to mothers and fathers who talk to them during activities such as bathing and feeding.


Take time to read to your children each day. Even infants enjoy story time with high-interest picture books. Choose age-appropriate books and other reading materials readily available from your public library.


Listen to your children and encourage them to engage in conversations with family members and other children. Children will make mistakes in speech and language as they develop new skills; parents should avoid discouraging children’s development by overcorrecting these mistakes.

Monitor your child’s speech and language development relative to age-specific language development expectations. Pediatricians/primary care physicians, public health clinics, and public libraries have child development materials including developmental expectations for speech and language.

Take an interest in your child’s school activities and participate in homework assignments. Parents should encourage independent problem solving and praise children for completing difficult assignments.

Parents are a child’s most important role model. Parents can demonstrate that listening, reading, writing, and learning are enjoyable, lifelong activities. Parents should set aside quiet time for independent reading for themselves and their school age children each day.

Parents can request a hearing test and speech and language evaluation if they are concerned about their child’s development. Free screenings are available through the various Childhood Language Centers in California. You may contact the California Scottish Rite Foundation.

For the Location of a Childhood Language Center in your area, click here.