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20 month old - Behavior Problems??

I am currently caring for my 20 mo. old niece.  Her mother recently had baby #2 and I'm helping out.  I've had her for 5 days now and previously had her for about a week earlier this month. I have three children of my own, and while I am very aware that all children are different, I feel that my niece is developmentally behind.  First, she cannot talk--basically speaks gibberish and the only understandable words she says are "no" and "nose."  She also will just sit or lay in one spot with no activity for long periods of time.  While some may consider that being a "good baby," I find it quite odd.  For example, she woke up from a nap and sat in my bed for almost an hour without making a sound or trying to communicate with me that she was awake--she didn't even try to get out of the bed.  I don't know how long she would have laid there had I not gotten her.  I let her lay there just to see what she would do.

The lack of communication is what puzzles me so much.  If you try to play with her, 80% of the time, she just stares at you.  She does get really excited when she sees an animal-that's the only time I've noticed her behavior change drastically.

Her mother is young (turns 21 in a few days) and their living conditions are horrible, and I do understand that has a lot to do with her development.  Just wondering if I'm being overly concerned or if there possibly is an issue here.
2 Responses
5914096 tn?1399918987
No one can give this answer without your niece being properly evaluated by an MD.  I suggest that you talk to the mother about your concerns.  
134578 tn?1614729226
Talk this over with her mother, for sure.  It might be developmental, it might be her hearing, it might be something else entirely.  As MarkLakewood says, she needs to be evaluated.  I might add, sometimes babies who don't get a lot of attention simply give up on trying to get it.  
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