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    “My child is not talking!”



    A little baby is born…he should grow and develop into his parents’ dream-child. Sometimes, however, life can give rude shocks…“My child is not talking!”

    “It’s ok, he’s a boy…”
    – a commonly heard conversation between a distressed parent and a well-meaning friend.


    This usually presents as a child who has not developed the onset of speech at the age of 18 months or has not achieved the language milestones of phrases by 2 years or sentences by 3 years. There may be poor vocabulary or bad sentence structure formation. Given that there has been regular exposure to the English language or that the child experiences this delay in all the languages/dialects that he is exposed to, then this child is said to have Speech and Language Delay.

    It is important to realize that speech and language delay is more a presentation and not really a diagnosis. It can be due to a speech and language disorder , specific language impairment, a communication disorder such as autism or autistic spectrum disorder , cognitive impairment or a specific learning disability such as dyslexia .

    A proper assessment is thus important, to allow targeted intervention at a young age. It is also important to track the profile of the child as he grows, so that specific tests can be administered as appropriately along the way.