As a certified Speech and Language Pathologist for the last 20 years, I have witnessed time and time again the importance of communication development at an early age. I have also seen how children are adversely affected by delayed communication development.
Speech and language skills not only make life easier in the preschool years with increased ease in communication between children and caretakers, these skills (or the absence of them) have a big impact on a child's literacy and overall academic experience. As parents, we are likely familiar with the frustration of not being able to understand our littles, but the frustration will not stop there if speech and language development are not given priority as young ones prepare for formal schooling. Consider this example: if a child cannot tell a simple story out loud as an incoming Kindergartener or first-grader, how will they be able to write a story?