According to a recent study by experts at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, daily reading boosted language development in infants 12 months of age and younger.
The results of the study, which is based on well-established research on early language development in toddlers 12 months and older, showed that infants who were consistently read to every day, starting at two weeks old and continuing until nine months old, showed improved language scores.
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The results were released in the ‘Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine’, the organisation's official peer-reviewed publication. During the randomized study, parents/guardians were given a set of 20 children's books specifically chosen to support early language development and interaction with print media. Enrolled families agreed to read at least one book per day and have their infants tested with an expressive and receptive language test at their well-child visits.
"One book each day is an easy goal for new families to try. To see that there is a measurable improvement in speaking and understanding before one year old is very exciting," said Adam M. Franks MD, professor of family and community health at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and corresponding author on the study.
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In addition to Franks, physicians Callie Seaman MD, and William Rollyson MD, and researcher Todd Davies PhD teamed up with Emily K. Franks, a speech-language pathologist, to co-author the article.
"While our team is excited about our findings, the real winners are the participating children and families in this area that have been benefited from the bonding experience of experiencing this co-reading through their participation in the project," Franks said.