Get your baby to read at 17 months too!

Get your baby to read at 17 months too!

It is possible to have your baby speak and even read at 17-months. It has been done before. See how these parents got their blonde baby girl to read so early. Does your baby have what it takes?

Wide-eyed, blonde-haired Elizabeth Barrett looks like a regular 17-month-old baby who wobbles around—needing either parent to steady her step. But she is no ordinary baby girl because she can already read. Ann Curry of TODAY’s show tested out the abilities of this little one and astounded audiences worldwide.

Reading at 17-months

To make sure that the parents did not train her in certain words, Ann held up words printed on pieces of paper that neither the parent nor the baby had seen before.

Without any hesitation or stress, Elizabeth read words like: “happy, zipper, kangaroo, flower, nice to meet you, take a bath and good morning, Ann” from the list of words presented to her.

The road to reading…

Baby Elizabeth read her first word at 13 months. The word was…corn—right off the cereal box at the supermarket with no picture given as a clue. Parents Katy Barrett and Michael are speech pathologists and they started teaching Elizabeth sign language along with the spoken language.

The parents read to her often and her fave TV show was a PBS show called Signing Times that teaches sign language to kids. The father shared: “We tried to do everything we could to try to stimulate her language growth. From day one Katy has been using sign language with her. We think anything relating to language is a good thing to nurture.”

He added: “I think there’s more to it than that. I think she has some special abilities that have just been a fortunate thing she’s been born with.”

The mom then chimed in: “This is something we never expected. We didn’t teach her this. We don’t sit down and drill her on words. She loves reading books.”

Is this genius purely genetic?

There is a saying that goes like this… “From 3-7 a child is learning to read, and from 7+ he is reading to learn.” In the show, a clinical director at the Institute for Learning and Academic Achievement at NYU’s Child Study Center, Susan Schwartz believes that genetics has a role in Elizabeth’s special reading capability.

She said: “I think she has extremely well-developed visual perception and visual memory. I think that Katy and Michael have done a great job giving her a lot of multisensory input, so she sees things, she’s talking about them, she is signing and she is using all of those skills together.”

Having a kid with this super reading ability can be scary, admitted the parents. Katy said: “Even though this is an amazing skill, it makes her different, and it’s not easy to be different. So that worries me.”

You never know, your kid might just be as special as Elizabeth. Take your baby for a reading test drive.

Also read: How to boost your baby’s language development

Got a parenting concern? Read articles or ask away and get instant answers on our app. Download theAsianparent Community on iOS or Android now!

Written by

Felicia Chin

app info
get app banner