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My 19 month old daughter does not talk. She nods and shakes her head when asked questions and will say MaMa or DaDa if there is no other way to get our attention. She can moo, bzzz, and bark. Often, if you try to get her to say something she turns away and refuses to respond or will shake her head no. My pediatrician has recommended that she see a speech pathologist, but my husband and other family members insist that this is not necessary, She will talk when she is ready. Does she have a problem? Would a speech pathologist help?
There is no harm in having a trained pediatric speech pathologist do an assessment.
I commend you see a pediatrician for his recommendation. Too often parents are told to "just wait". Waiting is lost time in any child’s life. Time that can never be regained.
At 18 months children should be using 20-30 words, pointing to at least 4 body parts, shaking head "no", imitate 3 animal sounds, ask for "more, food, drink, and what’s that" and find familiar objects not in sight.
Children "should" have up to 500 words at the age of 2 years, be putting 2-3 words together, uses I and you, follow simple directions, point to pictures in books, understand prepositions such as "in, on, under" , and point to 7 body parts. A "red flag" at age two is when a child has less than 50 words and is not putting 2 words together.
The lack of language or the ability to communicate can impact other developmental areas, such as cognitive and social emotional skills. The inability to clearly communicate needs and wants can also lead to increased frustration and behavioral outbursts.
There are many ways to build communication in children.
If you have any concerns at all, what better news could you get than to be told everything is fine from the professional? But if she needs speech therapy , now is the time to begin!!
Language facilitation Techniques*
Follow the child’s lead
Establish a joint reference of attention
Respond to and encourage the child’s communication attempts
For more information on language development the following resources are available:
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