I have two boys. Both healthy, thriving and completely fulfilling. My first born was ahead of the curve on so many developmental milestones -- included in this he was quite loquacious by the age of 2. He still amazes me with the trajectory he is on in his scholastic achievements. My second son, at the age of 21 months, has few words mixed between sign and verbal language. I am concerned.
I relay my concerns to friends and family. I am told that he is normal and will catch up. That one day he will be speaking in sentences. That he is a second child, where his brother may simply be speaking for him, so he has no chance or no need to speak. That I shouldn't compare him to my first son who was so ahead of the curve.
But my gut tells me that I should be concerned. My education in pediatrics tells me that there is a window where children thrive in speech and not to miss it. I am also aware working with other families that funding for programs such as speech therapy are limited, so best to get on the waiting list, in the system, so to speak.
So what am I doing:
He has had a second hearing test done. To rule out any middle ear problems & fine details of his hearing.
He has been assessed by a pediatrician. She agrees with me that I should be concerned. She said maybe it is nothing, but best to keep an eye on him.
I have him involved with a learning development consultant. She is giving us tips and tools to help his development.
He is on the waiting list for speech therapy. There is good evidence that speech-language therapy is helpful, particularly for children with expressive language disorder.
I talk with him, not baby talk, but speak about what we are doing as the day goes along. I read to him - lots - and point out new words via pictures. I limit screen time.
I am teaching him sign language. Oh how that has saved his frustration. We work on common signs, like more, eat and all done. We are also doing some fun signs like bath time.
I am having him treated with homeopathy. I have seen in my practice over the years how homeopathy can help children move through a developmental stumbling block. I have seen children struggling in school who after taking a homeopathic medicine astonish their teachers with their achievements.
Common reasons for speech delay:
- frequent ear infections
- hearing loss
- intellectual disability
- autism spectrum disorder
- physical speech problems
- bilingual children
Improving speech and language in preschoolers is instrumental in how they will achieve reading milestones in the elementary school years. If a child is continuing to have speech problems past five years of age, can lead to an increased incidence of attention and social difficulties.
So follow your gut feelings. And find a practitioner who will listen to you, not placate you. It can be hard to get to the root of things when treating kids, but I always know in my practice to listen to the mom and work with her to get her child on the right path. As what it always comes down to is that mama knows best.
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