My toddler doesn’t talk as much as other children his age. What should I do?
Although the stages that children pass through in the development of speech and language are very consistent, children develop language at their own pace. It is always a good idea to discuss concerns about your child’s development with your child’s pediatrician at every checkup. If delays in speech and language are suspected, parents may also want to consult with a speech-language pathologist certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) for a professional evaluation. A professional evaluation can determine the existence of speech and language delays and yield more specific intervention recommendations for parents. In the meantime, there are some general things that parents can do to help toddlers develop their speech and language skills. Talk a lot with your child and read to your child every day. This will help them understand and learn new words. Listen and respond when your child talks. Expand on what he/she says. Ask your child open-ended questions and encourage your child to ask you questions. Set limits for watching TV and instead play games with your child. Whenever possible use everyday moments as teachable moments. For more information, visit www.asha.org , www.bornlearning.org, or www.zerotothree.org.