Toddlers Who Don't Talk: When Is It a Problem?

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Sure there are developmental guidelines, but often kids do things in their own sweet time and they're just fine. So how do you know if there is a problem with your child's speech—or lack thereof? A recent New York Times article says assessing a kid's speech delay is difficult, yet crucial. The earlier a speech delay is diagnosed, the earlier the child can get help. The earlier the help, the better his prospects for improvement.


If you want to see how your child is doing, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association lists speech guidelines by age. If you have concerns, talk to your pediatrician.

If you'd like to enhance your children's speech and language skills, try these tips from Diane R. Paul, M.D., director of clinical issues in speech-language pathology at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association:

1. Talk to your child about what they’re focused on.

2. Read to your child often.

3. If you live in a bilingual home, speak to the child and read to the child in the language that you’re most comfortable with.

4. Speak clearly and naturally and use real words.

5. Show excitement when the child speaks.

6. Listen to what your child is telling you.

For more information, read the full article "When to Worry if a Child Has Too Few Words."

Are you worried about your toddler's language development?

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Talking Toddlers: When Everything is "Blue" or "Hot" or "Kitty"

Poor Kids Don't Talk So Good—Are You Kidding Me?


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