There is an interesting piece running in the New York Times; When to Worry if a Child Has Too Few...
There is an interesting piece running in the New York Times; When to Worry if a Child Has Too Few Words, and it's worth a read. My son was a late talker so words (or the lack of said words) did concern me. I'd guess it was my biggest concern actually when Cedar was little. The funny thing is that Cedar's pediatrician thought he was fine and deep down even I thought he was fine; just maybe quieter than most kids. But on the flip side, society makes a HUGE deal about language, word knowledge, and so on when it comes to kids and it's hard not to obsess. Key points in the NYT piece state...
  • One expert notes that by one-year of age, children should, “Start to use single words and follow simple directions and point to body parts and listen to simple stories.” By about 2 years of age, "They start putting words together and by 3, they should be using sentences of three words at the very minimum."
  • Another expert notes that we should consider speech delays in a very broad way, for example, is the delay purely a problem with speech and language, or is there a more global delay? Can the child make social connections, can he hear well, and how is the rest of his development going?
  • The other part of the speech delay problem the piece discusses is environmental causes. For example are caregivers chatting with the child and offering reasonable interaction that can lead to speech.
Kids do sometimes spend more energy on other tasks. My son walked (well ran) very well, and long before some other kids but talked later. His pediatrician thought Cedar was spending so much time working on physical skills that he ignored verbal skills. Also some kids are just quieter or shy. My son is still quiet, even though he has the words and will use them around me, his dad, or other close friends he hushes up around most other people. However, just because kids are different doesn't mean you shouldn't pay attention to major talking milestones. Missing a key verbal milestone can point to a bigger problem. Read the whole article; When to Worry if a Child Has Too Few Words for more tips about assessing your little one's speech or take a look at the following posts for help...

Tags: baby hearing baby speech baby speech development late talker late talking baby talking to baby verbal development

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