Language vs. Communication
“My child knows all of his letters, numbers and shapes!”
“So wonderful! BUT, can he ask for a drink when thirsty? Tell you when he’s hurt and needs a hug? Engage with others during play?”
Using language versus communication skills is such an important concept. We want our kiddos to have a FUNCTIONAL way to communicate-especially if their late to the talking game.
Are shapes, colors, letters and numbers important to know? Absolutely. Will they help a toddler communicate with others to avoid outbursts- probably not.
Think of it as adults learning a second language; you want to learn how to ask for help, how to order a drink, how to connect to others by knowing their name- essentially how to use your new communication skills to have your basic needs met. Listing shapes, colors and letters wouldn’t help you order food when you got hungry!
We need to focus on helping our toddlers acquire functional words in order for them to communicate with caregivers and friends. These communication skills help cut down on frustration between kiddo and adult during everyday activities!