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Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: DELAYED SPEECH 2.5 YR OLD


 Melani - Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:59 am

My 2.5yr daughter has only just started saying single words eg. mummy, shoes, up etc.

Previously it would appear that we had to call her several times before she would turn around and look at us. Her teachers at daycare say that she does not respond to instructions or when they are talking to her. She screams when my husband coughs really loud + when other children or adults talk to her expecting a response, she screams at them.

She is otherwise a very bright child - in fact she has an above average ability when it comes to music. She will sing along with songs, trying to say the words, She can learn a tune very quickly and has even started singing the tunes to hymns spontaneously.

Only this weekend I' ve noticed her babbling becoming more frequent - it sounds like Chinese. There are the few words sprinkled inbetween. She likes to read this one book about colours and will point out the colours and will repeat the colour easily after you have said it first.

Just this week her paed advised that her tonsils and adenoids were enlarged - she has been snoring, breathing through her mouth and been choking on a post-nasal drip for as long as we can remember. He advised that it would be best to remove them to make her more comfortable.

Will this help with her speech development and has it contributed the delay in any way.
Also, she did go to an Afrikaans daymother from 5mnths-2yrs of age where they spoke mainly Afrikaans during the day - perhaps this may have had an impact on her speech?

She is otherwise a very bright and intelligent child and amazes us every day with her learning and playing.
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:56 pm

Hello, Melani -

Your child's "delayed" speech is still within normal parameters, but at the far side of normal. Your description of her problems suggests a possible hearing impairment. Chronic tonsilitis could certainly contribute to a hearing deficit. Her screaming responses may be frustration at being unable to hear or understand. Her time spent with persons speaking Afrikaans could certainly complicate your child's speech development. Children typically learn languages easily while very young; if no one in your household speaks Afrikaans, it could confuse your child. She very likely uses some Afrikaans in her speaking efforts. A second opinion regarding removal of her tonsils and adenoids would be ideal, as well as a hearing evaluation. You might enjoy knowing that a recent small study concluded that children who are late speakers may have larger than usual cerebral cortex and higher IQs.

I hope the treatment that you pursue will address all of your questions.

Faye, RN, MSW

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