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i am concerned about my 19 month old
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i am concerned about my 19 month old

Evan is 19 months old now and is struggling to say words he never answers to his name and tends to ignore most of the time, should i be concerned or get him evaluated?  He knows how to ask for food he says ummmm and says mama i am really concerned i was reading about autisum should i be concerned?? HE is the only child and is not in daycare
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Hello,
   the first word usually appears when the child is around a year old, but of course all children go at their own pace. Your son does appear to be delayed in his expressive language, and it is a concern that he is not attending to his name and the things you say to him. I certainly would not jump to the conclusion that he is autistic---speech delays happen for lots of reasons. Your first stop should be to your pediatrician to make sure there is no medical issue to be addressed (fluid in the ears, etc.).

    I like to be proactive when it comes to a suspected delay in development, meaning that you should have him evaluated instead of taking a 'wait and see' approach. Your county's public school system will have an early childhood identification and assessment program that will provide a free assessment. If you prefer, you can ask your pediatrician to refer you to a pediatric hospital or private clinic for an evaluation. If you son would benefit from therapy, then the earlier he begins it the more benefit he is likely to receive. Check out the website of the American Speech Language and Hearing  Association for more informatoin about speech delays  www.asha.org. You can also read my Medhelp article on Developmental Assessments to learn more about how young children are assessed.

Best Wishes
Rebecca Resnik
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