I was just getting ready to write a blog about best toys and books to teach babies animal sounds. A mom had asked me for ideas for Christmas gifts for her little one which was a good question to answer for everyone. Then I got an alert that I had been mentioned in a “Mothership” blog, “Wait, Did Google Home Teach a Baby to Talk?” Ironically the article was about a dad who credits Google Home for teaching his 19-month old son to utter his first word, “Google.” Mom and toddler were playing a game, calling out to Google to say animal sounds. This is no surprise to me, as the little boy was delayed in his language development according to the dad, and simple repetitive games that require the child to repeat a word in the same play sequence in order to get a positive response, often help elicit a word. The little boy was calling out to Google like a friend over the phone and knew that when he did, he got a positive outcome or reinforcement.
What’s funny is that I’ve been ranting about those devices that answer any question, any moment because I feel they interrupt real time conversation and encourage distractibility! I may have to re-think my position based on this little guy’s breaking through and talking for the first time. And let’s not forget to shout out a hooray for that mom who was creative in finding a way to engage her child and set up a situation that required him to talk!