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Mother, father with two children

The role of gestures in a child's learning

Many of us speak with our hands and now experts suggest always using our hands when talking with children. While young children are forming and expanding their vocabulary, gestures help them bridge the gap between words and the world they live in.

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Couple talking with adopted son while he plays

Helping children build language skills

David Loyst has been studying and teaching about parenting for over 30 years as a speech language pathologist, autism consultant, and parent coach. He says it helps to think not just about language development, but ‘expressive’ language development.

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Let’s chat! Conversations with infants

While babies are born with an innate ability to tune into language, their language development is shaped by the kinds of interactions they experience from birth. Professor of Early Childhood Sheila Degotardi looks at the importance of conversation.

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Little boy playing with an abacus

Quality programs for birth to threes

Many parents are anxious about sending very young children to a long-day-care centre. Professor of Early Childhood Sheila Degotardi answers the questions: Should parents be worried? What does research tell us about the impact on very young children?

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Boy in school uniform playing soccer alone in the school yard

Boys lagging behind when school starts

What role do biology and society play in boys not being as developmentally ready to start school as girls? Right from birth, boys and girls don’t begin life on the same starting block. The impact of this is a question researchers are trying to unravel.

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Little boy during lesson with his speech therapist

Child speech development milestones

A child's first word is an exciting time, but often we don’t recognise that preparation for speech starts much earlier than those first recognisable sounds. As parents smile and talk with babies, they are listening to the sounds that make up language.

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Group of young children playing

A parent's gift guide for sensory play

We want to buy gifts our children will enjoy, but taking a moment to look at our choices through the eyes of an occupational therapist can influence our selection in ways that can also help our child build confidence, resilience and self care skills.

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Boy building with wooden blocks

Giving children the best start in life

Research shows one in five Australian children are starting school developmentally vulnerable. The Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth is leading a project to ensure every child starts school ready to learn, engage and face challenges.

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