Guest Blog By Deborah J. Weatherston, PhD
A recent recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that parents read aloud regularly to their babies beginning in infancy is really big news for babies and the infant mental health community. Literacy promotion by pediatricians during every well baby visit encourages parents to listen and very young children to learn. Reading aloud increases support for early brain development; encourages pleasurable, shared reading activities; builds language and literacy skills; and promotes warm and responsive relationships between parents and very young children during the first 5 years of life.
Partner with the American Academy of Pediatrics to promote the reading relationship as an avenue for health, socioemotional development, and early literacy beginning in infancy and continuing through the first 5 years of life!
Check out the abstract and the complete article on the Pediatrics website www.aap.org and partner with your local AAP to promote this recommendation and the link to infant mental health.
(Deborah J. Weatherston is the Executive Director of Michigan’s Association for Infant Mental Health (MI-AIMH) and the Editor of the World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH) Perspectives in Infant Mental Health. She co-developed and directed (1988-2004) the Graduate Certificate Program in Infant Mental Health at the Merrill-Palmer Institute/Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan where, as a member of MI-AIMH, she participated in the development of the Competency Guidelines and the MI-AIMH Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental health. She was a ZERO TO THREE fellow and has published numerous articles and books related to the practice of infant-parent intervention services and reflective supervision.)