How Families Use Technology To Improve Children's Communication – Moms

When it comes to children who are learning and developing communication, technology steps in and has a big influence on it.
We live in an age of technology that is busting at the seams. Communication has never been easier. When it comes to children who are learning and developing communication, technology steps in and has a big influence on that as well.
Face-to-face, human interaction is certainly the preferred method for teaching children language skills, but communication is more than just talking. Learning to listen, body language, reading, and writing are all forms of communication.
Related:'Expressable': Speech Therapy App For Kids Who Rather Get Virtual Help
Technology can help improve speech and language skills. It is not how it is learned. though. Children collect language skills fairly easily, all on their own. It doesn't necessarily need any teaching or training. According to the Linguistic Society of America, the way children acquire language is through interaction, not only with their parents and other adults but also with other children.
Typical children who grow up in typical households, surrounded by conversation, will acquire the language that is being used around them. Technology can add to it. For example, touchscreen tablets. There are many apps available to help aid in speech and language development.
Therapy Source recommends the following as the top 10:
Of course, like with all technology, parents are urged to track children's screen time, even when it comes to learning apps.
Another form of technology to help with communication is video chat. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) considers video chat to be separate from its daily screen time recommendations. Video chat can help a child form social connections. It is different from the apps as in, the child can have a conversation. They talk and someone talks back. It is an important part of building language skills. A game could be played as well, or read together.
Not all children are the same. They don't always learn the same ways, or even at the same speed. There is nothing wrong with this, and technology can be very beneficial in helping them communicate. Human interaction is not always easy for children who learn differently, have physical disabilities, or have executive function impairments.
Assistive technology (AT) is often used for helping children who are struggling with communication. Whether it be speaking, hearing, seeing, or writing. For this reason, there are many different forms of assistive technology. The Assistive Technology Industry Association defines these different forms as:
AAC means all of the ways that someone communicates besides talking. This is a specific type of assistive technology. Anyone who has issues with speech and language can use AAC; this is not specifically for children. Augmentative means to add to someone's speech. Alternative means to be used instead of speech.
There are quite a few different forms of AAC; not all of them use technology. For example:
Would be considered forms of "no-tech" or "low-tech" AAC.
"High-tech" forms of AAC include, but are not limited to:
Typical communication needs two people. If a child uses technology as their primary source of learning that skill, they can miss out on that important contact. Young children should ideally have human interaction for learning communication skills. Technology provides additional help on top of that.
Managing a child's screen time can be challenging for families. Children are never too young for screen time, nor are they ever too young for a screen-time plan. The AACAP asks parents to consider the following guidelines. Of course, all family structures are different, so guidelines may differ.
Sources: Linguistic Society of America, Therapy Source, Assistive Technology Industry Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, AACAP
I am the mother of four boys. They were all born very premature. Two singletons and twins. I am very passionate about raising awareness for prematurity and mother’s mental health. One of my sons has special needs as well. I have seen a different kind of motherhood than most, but very much enjoy writing articles to help parents of all kinds.


Leave a Comment