Normal Language Development

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Normal Language and Cognitive Development
Language is a set of shared rules that allow people to express their ideas in a meaningful way. Language may be expressed verbally or by writing, signing, or making other gestures, such as eye blinking or mouth movements. Speech is talking, which is one way to express language. It involves the precisely coordinated muscle actions of the tongue, lips, jaw, and vocal tract to produce the recognizable sounds that make up language. Speech and language functions are important components in children’s development. Children’s ability to talk and communicate with their parents and friends influences their social adaptation (Rosselli et al., 2014).
Communication is the key element necessary for interaction
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Auditory stimulation plays an important role in language development. Normal hearing is crucial for the development of appropriate communication skills. The first 18 months of life are particularly critical because during this period the spoken language emerges. Crucial milestones must be achieved, and development must progress in an orderly fashion to promote the full range of language. The infant responds to speech sounds selectively. A newborn responds to maternal speech, demonstrating a preference for the mother’s voice (Haubrich, 1998).
In addition, there is also a preference for the native language, even at birth. Early research demonstrated that infant movement occurs synchronously in response to speech structure. The infant not only responds to auditory stimulation but also can control auditory events in the environment. The infant’s ability to indicate preferred sounds, such as the mother’s voice or musical selections, by sucking on a specially designed pacifier, may demonstrate early linguistic abilities (Kuhl, 2010).
Early language development is characterized by various stages that most children exhibit, although the age at which these stages appear varies widely (Babble, imitation, understanding words, first words,
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Sensorimotor (0 to 2 years of life).
2. Preoperational (age 2 to 7 years).
3. Concrete operations (age 7 to 11 years).
4. Formal operations (adolescence) (Feldman, 2004).
Factors that Influence Cognitive Behavior:
1. Maturation of the nervous system.
2. Experience.
3. Social transmission of information or teaching.
4. Equilibration (innate tendency for mental growth to progress toward increasingly complex and stable levels of organization).
5. Breastfeeding is associated with improved cognitive development, particularly in children born preterm (Quigley et al., 2012).
Cognition Landmarks at 1-3 years:
• Tertiary circular reaction develops through which a child produces new events for his/her own sake by extending existing habits to a variety of objects.
• By l8 months, a toddler can recognize himself/herself in mirrors and pictures (Kesselring, 2009).
Table (3): Cognitive development (Angeline et al., 2013).
Cognitive development
Age Activity

One month Watches person when spoken to.
Two months Smiles at familiar person talking. Begins to follow moving person with eyes.
Four months Shows interest in bottle, breast, familiar toy, or new
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