Yuma, Arizona (NAPSI) - Most parents eagerly await their child’s first word-and many wonder about every language and literacy milestone thereafter. Language, however, is about so much more than just words and healthy communication. It can be the foundation of a child’s ability to succeed emotionally, socially and academically.

To help, a book revised to guide a new generation is back. “Beyond Baby Talk-From Speaking to Spelling: A Guide to Language and Literacy Development for Parents and Caregivers” (Random House) by Kenn Apel, Ph.D., CCC-SLP and Julie Masterson, Ph.D., CCCSLP, experts in child language, takes the mystery out of the developmental process. It shows simple milestones and easy activities that parents and grandparents can do to build strong language skills at home and on the go.

For example, parents should know that most infants have an inner desire to communicate and the ability to pick up at least the basics with minimal exposure to language. You don’t need flash cards, computer programs, lessons, incentives, correction or bribes to get your youngster to learn language. The best thing you can do is talk and read to your child.

Children’s brains are “wired” to learn a tremendous amount about language and communication. According to the book, parents should:

• Talk with their infants from their first day of life!;

• Use changing time, bath time and mealtime to “chat”;

• Establish a book-reading routine by the time a child is 2.

A recent study in Pediatrics showing thatU.S.children 8 months to 8 years old are exposed to nearly four hours of background television in a typical day reminds parents to limit background media distractions while interacting with their kids. Previous research has shown negative associations between background television and kids’ cognitive and social outcomes.

The book highlights checkpoints to gauge a child’s progress and easy methods to:

• Understand the influence of media and technology on language development—and navigate through it;

• Evaluate and monitor spoken language development;

• Enhance literacy skills for improved spelling, reading and writing;

• Recognize the signs of language and literacy progress problems—and know when to seek professional help from a certified speech-language pathologist (SLP).

Save 20 percent*! Use promo code BBT20 at www.asha.org/BeyondBabyTalk for special pricing.

*Offer is valid through 3/31/13 and cannot be combined with any other offers.