The child does not talk yet, should we worry?

Why are there children who do not speak When the rest is already able to pronounce several words? Is there a disorder that explains this delay in language skills? Some parents choose to wait and the child evolves at their own pace, others put their hands to their heads and worry excessively. How do I proceed?

From the Nemours Foundation it is indicated that each case must be treated differently and that the first thing is to recognize what is "normal" and what is not. And is that the development of children is usually more or less similar in all cases. At each age it corresponds to learn a new skill and begin to master it. Therefore, when parents see that their children do not act like the rest, they begin to worry. A good example is the speaks, a capacity that can also cause more fear since not knowing how to communicate in this way can end up isolating the child.


How the language develops

The learning of speech is a gradual process that develops along with other types of language. This is the usual process in children:

- Before 12 months. At these ages the child begins to manifest his first oral communication practices such as gurgling or babbling. As the babies get older they begin to join sounds, to incorporate the different intonations of speech and to say words like "mom" and "dad".

Before 12 months, parents should be concerned if babies are not receptive to sounds and do not recognize the names of commonly used objects.

- Between 12 and 15 months. At this age, babies should begin to imitate and approach sounds and articulate the sounds spontaneously. Nouns "baby" or "baby". A warning sign at this age is that the child does not know how to recognize instructions.


- From 18 to 24 months. Around these ages, children begin to combine two words and to make very simple sentences, such as "baby toy". By the age of two, children must identify objects with words, something usual is to point to something and name it: "dog", "apple", etc.

When to worry

Once the signals habitual in the development of language, parents should also recognize symptoms that indicate that it is necessary to go to a specialist:

- The child only imitates the speech or acts of others but does not generate words or phrases spontaneously.

- Only emit certain sounds or words repeatedly and can not use oral language to communicate more than their immediate needs.

- He is unable to follow simple instructions by not recognizing the words.

- It has a strange pronunciation: hoarse or nasal sounds are the clearest example.


- Even the people who live with him, parents and children educators, have problems when it comes to understanding them.

What to do in these cases

The first thing will be to request an appointment with a specialist to determine if there is a problem to deal with in the child. In the same way, parents can act from home in the following way:

- Devote as much time as possible to talking with the children, even during the stage of breastfeeding.

- Read to your children from 6 months so that they will become familiar with the vocabulary.

- Take advantage of situations of daily life to reinforce the speech and language of the children.

Damián Montero

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