Introduction: Rapid neural development occurs beginning in utero and extending throughout a child's first years of life, shaped by environmental input, which is essential for language learning. If this development is disrupted by premature birth and/or related repeated hospitalizations, atypical language development may result even in the absence of severe neurologic damage. Method: This narrative review describes typical neurodevelopment associated with language and the atypical neurodevelopment often experienced by children born prematurely that can adversely affect their language development. Results: We describe evidence-based intervention strategies applicable in the hospital setting that can support the language development of young children who are born prematurely. Discussion: To promote neurodevelopmental growth that will support language learning, children born prematurely need to engage in supportive interactions with others. Awareness of evidence-based strategies can equip health care staff to provide a supportive hospital environment to promote the language development of children born premature.
- Augmentative and alternative communication
- brain development
- language development
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health