The Importance of Pointing

A child pointing
Who would have thought pointing can be so important to a Childs development? I have often overheard parents say to their child ‘don’t point its rude’ however in one of his most recent articles, Michael Jones talks about how pointing can play a vital role in helping children progress to using their first words.

In his article ‘The Power of Pointing’ Michael describes the function of a young child pointing to something they want as ‘proto-imperative pointing’ – pointing to show what he or she wants instead of using words. Michael provides the reader with examples of a child named Ibrahim, aged nine months old, using proto-imperative pointing. Later, the article describes Ibrahim progressing to ‘proto-declarative pointing’ where pointing is used instead of words for the purpose of showing someone what he is interested in and the desire to share that interest with someone else. If such pointing is responded to appropriately by an adult then it can assist a child in progressing to using their first words in communication with others.

Child with mother pointing into the air

Young girl points finger

Having spent a vast amount of time supporting young children up to three years of age, I found reading about the important role pointing can play rather insightful. It highlights how important our responses to young children can be for their development of language and communication skills. A role that many of us participate in perhaps without knowing how significant our interactions can be in the development of a Childs first words.

The article also contains guidance on supporting children where there is a delay in speech and language development including if Autism is suspected.

To read the full article by Michael Jones, see the link below:

http://www.talk4meaning.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Early-Years-Educator-Pointing-March-2014-PDF.pdf

To download articles and view Michael’s blog go to:

http://www.talk4meaning.co.uk/publications/

http://www.talk4meaning.co.uk/category/blog

Jayne Life

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