Communicate means relating and this does not always happen through verbal language, especially in the child. Facial expression, eye contact and body posture, in fact, are part of all those expressions that belong to the field of non-verbal communication that young children often use when they are not yet able to speak. In fact, verbal language appears later than non-verbal language. But when should we think that maybe our child has a communication problem? When to worry if the child does not speak?
When to worry if the child does not speak?
At what point does the communication process begin in a child?
The word is only one of the channels of communicationits development can go hand in hand with motor development or have different times and not always the same from child to child.
Nevertheless, by the age of one and a half years, most children, even if they only say a few words, are capable of understanding many of them, doing or saying simple things like “say goodbye.” At this age, children listen children’s songs and, if asked, they can point to different parts of the body or pictures in a book.
An essential vocabulary
By two years of age, children are usually able to correctly pronounce more than 20 words. and to understand even more than twice, using gestures and words at the same time. At two and a half years they use the first combinations of words such as “pretty mom” or “like food.” But if at 24 months the child simply does not speak, we must understand why.
What to do if a 2 year old doesn’t speak?
First, we must understand if the child turns when hearing a voice or a sudden noise and if he responds, looking into his eyes, when called. In second place, it is necessary to observe if he shows interest in what is happening around him: For example, if you explore the space around you and look for other children when you see them. Also, if you don’t communicate with words, you still need to attract attention through your eyes and use gestures to make themselves understood, thus demonstrating communicative intentionality.
If these behaviors are not given to relate to others, it would be appropriate to offer the child the Opportunity to spend more time with peers many times taking him to the park, to the toy library or making him attend the nursery, all places of socialization, which help children to get involved with their peers, stimulating the desire to communicate with others. Often a child with a mild speech delay just needs more opportunities.
How to unblock a child who does not speak?
The language assessment helps to better understand the child’s potential and possibly what aspects to work on. The first step is taken by the family pediatrician, who can seek advice from one or more specialists.
The multidisciplinary team that evaluates language disorders is made up of a child neuropsychiatrist, a psychologist, a speech therapist and a psychomotor specialist. The evaluation of language development is carried out with activities that serve to probe the psychomotor development of the child through games with images to name or indicate, to verify the child’s ability to understand and respond verbally.
Language assessment is a delicate moment that you have to communicate to the child with serenityas is done with any other visit, without overloading the appointment with meanings and expectations.
It is advisable to inform the child of what the doctor is going to do (games, small motor skills activities, win a nice prize for participating), so that make the visit a pleasant moment.
What are the stages of language development in children?
3-5 months:The baby cries and smiles to communicate.
6-8 months: This is the period of ‘lalation’, the child emits sequences of syllables (da-da-da, la-la-la) even just for the pleasure of listening to each other.
9-12 months: The baby begins to point to objects. He uses only a few phrase words, but understands many.
12-16 months: Around one year of age, the child begins to pronounce his first words and communicates with indicative gestures.
16-18 months: The child understands that all things have a name. He learns new words quickly. He uses words and gestures to communicate.
18-24 months: A child’s vocabulary consists of 20 or more words. He can associate two or more words to say or describe what he sees.
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