If you are a member of any of the mommy groups in Facebook, you ought to have seen frequent posts from concerned mother’s seeking advice about why their 1.5 to 2 year old are not talking yet. Well, you can’t really blame them. In this world where we are bombarded with excessive information, sometimes even conflicting information, it is no wonder that we turn into paranoids.
Actually, my son started talking late. I guess he spoke his first words only by two. But was I a concerned mom? Not really, because though he started talking only by 2, he had started communicating with us well before that. He would use various gestures and communicated with us what he wanted to convey. He was persistent and just wouldn’t leave until we understood what he meant.
In fact, communication is the key milestone that we need to be concerned during early toddlerhood, not necessarily talking. Our pediatrician too opined the same. She said as long as the child understands what you say and try to communicate back, you don’t have to worry. Of course, if the child doesn’t start talking even by 3 years, then you may have to consult your doctor.
Parents can try making it easier for them by introducing gestures:
For instance, once when the fan was on, I went to switch it off and told my son, “I am feeling cold” and I showed that I was shivering by rubbing my palms and arms. After a few days, he showed the same gesture and pointed to the fan to convey that he was feeling cold. This way, by introducing gestures and cues,we can facilitate better communication and ease their frustration.
Other step you could possibly take is limit screen time:
Enroll the child in play school:
It will give him the opportunity to mingle with other kids and an encouragement to talk.
Talk with your child as much as possible:
Ours as well as our previous generation lived in joint families where there were a number of people to talk with the child, where as now, thanks to nuclear families, children aren’t as much exposed to verbal communication as before- which in fact is one of the prime reasons for late talking.