The Times reports that American Academy of Pediatrics is advancing a new policy that pediatricians should recommend to parents that they should read aloud to their children beginning at birth. The policy recognizes that important cognitive development takes place during the first three years of life and that read aloud helps young children develop language skills including increased vocabulary.
Here’s an important quote from the article:
Reading, as well as talking and singing, is viewed as important in increasing the number of words that children hear in the earliest years of their lives. Nearly two decades ago, an oft-cited study found that by age 3, the children of wealthier professionals have heard words millions more times than have those of less educated, low-income parents, giving the children who have heard more words a distinct advantage in school. New research shows that these gaps emerge as early as 18 months.
Tutors are often in direct contact with parents and family members. Pass along the advice. Don’t wait for a pediatrician to share the news. READ, READ, READ. Read early and read often.