Improving early child development with words: Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald at TEDxAtlanta

Published 2014-06-03
Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald is leveraging the simple practice of talking to babies and toddlers to nourish their brains and set them up for better performance in school and life.

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In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

All Comments (21)
  • As someone who talks A LOT and had a lot of great interaction with her child, my child still had a speech delay. Just a reminder for parents, every child is different. Stop putting your child’s successes and failures as a direct compliment or insult to your well-being. If you’re a good parent, you’re always striving to learn more, you’re watching videos like this, you’re finding ways to be a better influence in a child’s life, but every human life is different.
  • I was a very interactive parent to my son he is in the 3rd grade and reads at a grade 6 level. I read to him as an infant I was very much concentrated on my son and I believe that helped with his success 🥰🖤
  • @pixie7349
    My father worked three jobs and my mother worked two and was severely and debilitatingly mentally ill. She’s been hospitalized ALOT. I was put in LD classes as a child. It all worked out I am now a nurse and although I can say I love to read and I don’t disagree that words are important and talking to your babies is important BUT SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS EFFECTS DEVELOPMENT. Because you can be the most loving parent in the world but if you don’t have time to spend with your baby except about once or twice at night or you are so mentally ill (untreated due to cost) and you are just trying to make ends meet or keep yourself well then that effects development. POVERTY AND INCOME EFFECT DEVELOPMENT. Why does it seem like she is saying that it’s just people aren’t interacting with their kids? Sometimes people don’t have the opportunity to do as much and Georgia is one of the poorest states with high levels of poverty. Maybe if they focus on that and establishing some relief these parent’s would be able to spend more time interacting with their babies.
  • @doula2010
    One thing she did not discuss was how important other members of the family were to the developing baby. I lived with my daughter and her husband when both of her daughters were born (at home with a midwife by choice). We all talked and played with both girls from the moment they were born> Other family members were often present and talked and played with them also. I did housework and diapers so my daughter had more time with them to read and garden with or take walks. The important thing at an early age is not how many thousands of words you speak to them, but the interaction, eye contact, touch, and response to their needs, which includes talking outloud to them. My daughter gave away their TV and x-box so that they would not be tempted to just sit around not interacting with their children and vice-versa. They do not watch videos on the computer...they read to them. None of this has anything to do with money or education level.
  • I would like to state that it's amazing to have good people to take a stand and teach our Mothers & Father's how to be parents to our children, I'm sure that you guys are very much appreciated in the eyes of many
  • Very nicely done. This was a good blend of science, practical solutions, and expert advice. I could not agree more that language nutrition is as critical as food nutrition. Thanks for sharing!
  • Just a thought from my analysis on this video is that the computer era has added to the problem with language development in new norms since a lot of jobs are email based and the mothers don’t talk as nearly as much as they use too while pregnant. I would really like to see a study on this to record the amount of speech is being used for different mothers through out the day and compare to others and the results in spiking autism in this country.
  • Agree, I even played music and sermons to my daughter from when my wife pregnant by putting my studio headphones on my wife's tummy. And kept talking while doing things. She has grown up and got her dream job: Fashion Designer she does is prophetically while active in youth ministry going to places, singing, dancing, writing songs, designing special prophetic dresses, and playing music: drums, guitar, bass, keyboard. And for sure, she likes talking. Thank you for sharing this video.
  • @VanzHumbleHome
    Wow, very interesting. I am motivated to interact with my children more. I thought I was doing well but I never realized language had such a profound impact on the children's future!
  • @sarahsimms8229
    As a speech-language pathologist who works with children in a high poverty school, AMEN!!!
  • @Doctor_Ash
    Great , motivating and inspiring talk Mam.Appreciate the efforts you have brought forth for the development of kids !
  • @QueenB28348
    Also……my son is an only child with just me for the most part during the day. When he was 1, we spent 3 weeks around my BIG family with multiple children. My husband noticed that he was trying to talk more after visiting for 1 1/2 weeks. It is true that children learn words more/faster when spoken to on a regular basis.
  • This is a so wonderful and inspiring Ted talk. I think talking to our children from the womb and their childhood is the good thing that can happen to their lives. Thank you so much
  • @claudiasasse8748
    This is such a great presentation - so important for the caregivers all around the world!
  • @coachian735
    I appreciate the research to support the new babies so we can build a strong foundation for the new babies. My question is what do we do to truly support the 70% of Georgia students who are NOT reading at a 3rd grade reading level?
  • But I do want to say. All of that being said (in my previous comment) spending time with your children is the most important thing as they are developing, especially in the early years. So in that she is right! I have two doctors and one teacher as grown children today and they are great people and A wonderful support to our community and still love their parents!
  • @silviafigueroa5259
    Awesome context. Even patents in poverty who have access to this knowledge can offer their child a vocabulary rich environment by accessing free community resources.
  • my boy grew up in Indonesia with an Indonesian mother who spoke to him in Javanese. funny thing was he never picked up a word of Indonesian but has had excellent English skills from a young age. a lot of his "language nutrition" came form online media and his father (ie me) rather than the indonesian world around him
  • @YtubeUserr
    She shows how important the 1st few months of a baby are! Absolutely very important!
  • @aia2473
    I remember increasing my vocabulary due to listening to a lot of talk radio. Sadly a lot of it was sort of sad, boring, investigative, heavy stuff - so happy they have podcasts now where there is such a massive diversity of interests!