Parenting Toddlers (1-5) Community
Speech problem
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This patient support community is for discussions relating to the challenges of parenting toddlers (age 1-5), including physical, speech, sensory, cognitive and emotional development, choosing a daycare/nanny, games & activities, and toilet training.

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Speech problem

My 27 month old son hardly speaks a few words except mama,dada,baba,baby,bye,go,no. He does know the sounds of words and understnads everything,he can remeber all the ryhmes,songs and hum but whne asked to say the words just does not show any effort. He is 12 kgs and is very active. He can switch on the TV,Computer, go to his favorite website,insert and remove DVDs and follow instructions. Can you tell me whether this is abnormal or will he speaka s time passes. i make him repeat 40-50 words a day and he does say them not clearly but makes a sound and effort o speak but only when compelled.

Please help and guide.

Thanks a ton.
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Hm.  Well, some kids are simply late talkers.  They go from a few words to full sentences over night.  This really does happen!

I understand your worry though.  I always think that when a mom's internal warning bells are going off, it is good to follow up on them.  If there is something wrong, early intervention can do really amazing things!  And the important part of helping with speech is that it is so tied to social interaction with peers and that is tied to self esteem.  

So, first, let me ask if you've mentioned this to your pediatrician and what do they say?  They may suggest a speech evaluation.  These never hurt.  I had one done with both of my boys and both were within normal.  My older son has sensory integration disorder and had difficulties with articulation but still was within normal.  (wide range of normal during those young years!!).  And if it turns out that your son is not, they'll start some speech therapy with him.  If you live in the states, you can also be referred to the early intervention programs that your city/state use.  They provide evaluations and services for free (based on income) as mandated by law for birth to age 3.  At 3, your local public school takes over.  We did go the private route, which you would check your insurance for that to see what is covered and what is not.  We did early intervention in the form of occupational therapy---------- worth every penny!

Anyway, here are some things you can do now to help with articulation.  Perhaps there is a glitch in your child's motor planning which causes the difficulty in articulation.  Many kids that have trouble with this will garble their words, skip sounds in a word or avoid talking altogether.  So, work on the mouth muscles.  Simple things to do are to drink a thick liquid through a straw such as milkshake, smoothie, or even apple sauce.  (This has the added benefit of calming a nervous system when a child is super active).  Blowing bubbles in the bottom of a cup with a straw.  Blowing a cotton ball across the table with a straw cut in half (have races!).  Blowing traditional bubbles.  Do tongue exercises-------  stick tongue out, pull in quickly.  Move tongue from side to side.  Trace lips with tongue.  Do tongue push ups------ moving up and down.  Touch the bottom teeth. Try to touch the top teeth (hard for all little ones your child's age).  S uck a lolly pop.  All of these things work out the mouth muscles.  Another thing to do is play face freeze.  Turn on music and the two of you make all kinds of crazy faces.  Then turn the music off and "freeze" and hold it for a minute.  It takes a tremendous amount of muscle coordination to speak------ these things help the muscles.  I had a CD that I really liked called "Speechercize" that I got on line. I'd bet ebay has it too.  When you speak, speak slowly and have him look at you.  Try not to drill him with saying the names of things or words.  You want to make it a game or something fun so that he does not become insecure about it.  

Good luck.  I'm sure it will be fine.
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