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Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: speechless child


 szdramirez - Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:48 pm

my 2 year old nephew seems to have a language all his own. his primary care giver speaks only spanish, his mother speaks only english, he has not picked either language but speaks something no one can understand. his hearing is fine, and he understands both languages, what do you suggest?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:49 pm

User avatar Hello Szdramirez,

It is very common for children in bilingual families to initially be a little behind "typical" speech development. By two years old, though, we would expect the child to be able to say 50 or so words (in any combination of the languages) and probably start putting two word sentences together.

When you say his hearing is fine, has it been formally checked by the audiologist? If not, this is probably the first place to start. If his hearing has been evaluated and is normal, the next step can be varied. Probably the best place to start is with his primary care doctor. He should have a careful evaluation to see if he is delayed in any other areas or if there are indications of other problems that may be contributing to the speech delay. It may be advised to see a developmental pediatrician or a speech therapist.

Best wishes.

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