by Susan Healey

Children start learning to talk long before they say their first words. Learning to talk is all about brain development and when parents play, talk, read, and sing they are helping their babies to develop the brain connections they need for language and literacy. If you have concerns, it is important to get help early so that we do not miss this crucial developmental stage.

At the Language Express Preschool Speech and Language Program, we encourage you to take the time this May to check that the babies, toddlers, and preschoolers in your life are on track for communication success. Complete the online Language Express Communication Checkup on our website at www.language‑ The Communication Checkup screens for speech, language, and global development every 6 months from birth to 4 years of age. Parents can make a referral to Language Express online after completing the Checkup, or can call our office to make a referral or ask questions at 1‑888‑503‑8885.

Language Express provides speech and language assessment and therapy services for young children in Lanark, Leeds, and Grenville counties. Services are free and are available from birth until school entry. The deadline for referrals is September 1st of the year that the child is eligible to start Junior Kindergarten. This means that children born in 2020 must be referred by September 1st, 2024.

Families with concerns about hearing should talk to their family doctor or contact the Southeast Infant Hearing Program at 1‑855 544‑3400, ext. 3175 and press 5 for more information about hearing testing.

Earlier referrals lead to better outcomes. Children’s brains are developing incredibly rapidly in the infant, toddler and preschool years and studies have shown that early intervention has more impact on a child’s future well‑being and success in school than the same amount of intervention provided when the child is older.



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