To ensure children with language development problems do not fall through the cracks, the EIF (Early Intervention Foundation) is calling for early language development to be prioritised as a child wellbeing indicator, so that it must be treated as a public health issue, like vaccination, obesity and mental health. Early language acquisition impacts on all aspects of young children’s non-physical development.
They argue that a child’s development contributes to their ability to manage emotions and communicate feelings, to establish and maintain relationships, to think symbolically, and to learn to read and write. While the majority of young children acquire language effortlessly, a significant minority do not. They state that this change would make it clear that language development problems have serious consequences and require additional support, even when they are not the result of acute or clinical disorders.
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