The Development of Speech
Although the embryological development of the speech structures is of great interest to the student of speech correction, since many organic abnormalities such as cleft of the palate are traceable to this period, our study of the development of speech must begin with birth. No teacher of speech correction should be ignorant of the manner in which speech develops, and no parent should be without a knowledge of how to teach a child to talk. The amazing ignorance and the ludicrous methods displayed by many parents during the infant's first year of speech-attempt no doubt account for many speech defects and much delayed speech. The training which student teachers receive in the teaching of such language functions as reading and writing points out the great necessity for training in the teaching of talking. It is true that most of us learn to talk, but much of our success is gained in spite of the methods used rather than because of them, and too many of us never learn to speak well.
The birth cry and other reflexive sounds. Most parents when questioned will reply that their child learned to talk at about the age of one year, but the student of speech knows that the child is learning to talk when he draws his first breath and lets out the yell that announces his arrival. He is learning to talk as he sucks and swallows, belches and smiles, for movements used in these activities are used in