The book throws light on the sensory development of children and the process by which toddlers learn to speak.(Unsplash)
The book throws light on the sensory development of children and the process by which toddlers learn to speak.(Unsplash)

Book 'Speak-A-Boo', documentary 'Talk To Your Child' released by Dr. Neeraj Suri

Noted authors, journalists and behavioral specialists came together to interact with the public and encourage them to talk to their children during the launch of the book Speak-A-Boo by Dr Neeraj Suri.
ANI, Ahmedabad (gujarat) [india]
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 03:32 PM IST

In a world where personal connections have taken a backseat and conversations have mostly gone digital, an effort was made to emphasize on the importance of effective communication with children, as noted authors, journalists and behavioral specialists came together to interact with the public and encourage them to talk to their children during the launch of the book Speak-A-Boo by Dr Neeraj Suri.

The book throws light on the sensory development of children and the process by which toddlers learn to speak. It also elaborates on the factors that make a difference in the language and personality development of a child. Most importantly, The book emphasizes the importance of early intervention in the lives of the children that are born with hearing impairment.

The highlights of the event were the audiences' response to the documentary Talk To Your Child and the Q&A session with the chief guest Kaajal Oza Vaidya and Dr Neeraj Suri.

The book that Dr Suri has written, and the documentary that she has commissioned, are a part of her long term campaign - #TalkToYourChild. Dr Neeraj Suri, a renowned ENT surgeon, has pioneered the field of cochlear implantology in the twin cities of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. As a government Nodal Officer, she has not only been entrusted with training ENT surgeons across the state for the procedure, but has also been the driving force behind the directorate that makes a hearing test compulsory for all new-borns.

All in all, the book is an exemplary guide for new parents, as well as those who are planning to start a family. Apart from them, the book would also be an interesting read for teachers and healthcare professionals in general, and behavioral psychologists and developmental pediatricians in particular. All proceeds from the sales of the book will be donated to NGOs that work with children that have hearing impairment.

The release of Speak-A-Boo was celebrated on January 21st, 2021, at AMA, in an event moderated by RJ Nimisha, with noted author, screenwriter and orator, Kaajal Oza Vaidya as the Chief guest. Other guests of honour included Dr Neena Bhadolia (Noted ENT Surgeon), Shilpa Choski (Founder, House of Marigold), Saroj Jain (Lions Club International Foundation, Kusum Choppra (Noted journalist and Author of books like Nirbhaya and Mastani), Dr Deepika Jain (Developmental Pediatrician), and Ajab Primuswala (Behavioural Psychologist).

To emphasise the importance of effective communication between parents and children and to create awareness about early intervention, Dr Neeraj Suri commissioned the making of a documentary - Talk To Your Child. The documentary features comments from many prominent personalities in the fields of education and parenting, as well as some case studies. The documentary was first released during the launch event of Speak-A-Boo, and can now be watched on Dr. Neeraj Suri's Youtube channel.

Speak-A-Boo: Peek into toddler's brains as they learn to talk, a 50,000 word book, is an attempt to decode this phenomena and get an insight on how the primitive brain of a new born miraculously achieves the milestone of being able to communicate through words. It chronicles the journey of 0-3 year old children and would greatly appeal to parents, grandparents and other caregivers, as well as to professionals like therapists and cochlear implant surgeons.

The miracle of life has confounded us all at some point or another. For many, this desire to unravel the mystery arises at times when we meet children and realise that we have the power of creation within us. And as we watch the progress of a child who imitates adults and struggles with tasks like walking and eating, we marvel at them all the more. One such accomplishment that astonishes adults, is the ability to imitate sounds and talk, at times knowing, and at times not knowing the meaning of the words they feel so happy to be able to speak.

Think about words. Our brains need words not only for verbal communication, but also for thinking and analysing. Consequently, words form the base of our development of cognitive, innovative and creative skills. It is really amazing how the brain learns this and how different one child turns out from another when one considers the vocabulary they use, their intelligence, and their cognition. Learning to speak and understanding a particular language is like having building blocks.

Every child uses these tools as building blocks but until they learn to use them in creative ways, they are of little use. Extensive research has gone into understanding this phenomena and to ensure that every reader understands and relates, I have attempted to put my findings in a simplified manner.

Dr Neeraj Suri, a renowned ENT surgeon, has pioneered the field of cochlear implantology in the twin cities of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. As a government Nodal Officer, she has not only been entrusted with training ENT surgeons across the state for the procedure, but has also been the driving force behind the directorate that makes a hearing test compulsory for all new-borns.

During the course of her career, she has interacted with thousands of families and has treated hundreds of children with hearing impairment. One very prevalent issue that she noticed was the communication gap between the parents and the children. Nevertheless, in Dr Neeraj Suri's experience, this gap can be easily filled if parents take some proactive steps to bridge it. Only in some cases, Dr Neeraj felt the need of an intervention by therapists. Her observations pertaining to family dynamics and communication between the family members, prompted her to collate her learnings and author a book.

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