Let me please begin this article by first saying that we all must remember that every child is undeniably different, so please use caution when comparing your child with other children. I understand it is hard to ignore when other children are doing far more than your own child is doing, however children progress at different rates developmentally.
Now that that has been said, I also don’t want the wrong message to be sent to anyone reading this. I do believe that if you have your doubts that your child is not reaching developmental milestones and has some delays that you reach out to find the “correct” professional to determine if there truly is a delay present and if intervention is recommended. I no longer can even count how many times I have heard parents share that their doctor has recommended the “watch & see” approach with children with delayed speech and language. So when in doubt, follow your instincts and persist in being proactive. Ask your doctor for a referral for a speech-language pathologist to do a consult and/or an evaluation for your child. Perhaps word it like this “I am interested in ruling out a speech and language disorder with a speech-language pathologist who is specially trained and/or highly qualified in this area”. This does not sound demanding, but rather as if you are reaching out for help.
I feel parents need to always be their child’s best advocate and parents should be aware of potential reasons why your toddler may be delayed in speech and language development. Here is a list of some reasons I have had first-hand experience witnessing over the last decade of my practice that contributed to toddler delayed talkers: (more…)