Along with a child’s first steps, the first spoken word surely ranks as one of the high points in a parent’s life. Whether it’s car as in the case of one of my sons, or hi for my other one, those first words — along with early phrases, car gone, I see — stay in a parent’s mind. For the first couple of years, every milestone achieved seems worthy of a phone call or email to family and close friends. These small acts of normal growth seem miraculous. And they are. Later, we take for granted the physical and intellectual feats that children exhibit on a regular basis, but those first words are truly spectacular. What happens after the first words?
Read the rest of this article here (pdf)