Parents can help kids improve speech through reading time

While many parents are aware that reading to young children is beneficial, Ohio University research suggests applying certain techniques can make reading intervention a useful tool in hel ping some children overcome speech and language problems. The research indicates that children with speech problems can significantly improve their language skills simply by hearing their parents read to them every day. The study was supported by a $40,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Researchers worked with 14 children ages 3 to 5, each of whom had some sort of delay in their ability to speak or understand words, and their parents. Over a six-week period, parents read two books a day, seven days a week, to their children. At the end of the study, researchers saw a marked improvement in all of the children, said Helen Ezell, assistant professor of hearing and speech and author of the study.

Stories on the research ran in newspapers across the country, including the Philadelphia Inquirer, Kansas City Star, Providence (R.I.) Journal-Bulletin and San Antonio (Texas) Express-News. WCMH-TV in Columbus also covered the story.

Research notes are compiled by Kelli Whitlock and Dwight Woodward of University News Services and Periodicals.

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