Hudson Valley Parent

HVP September 2019

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12 Hudson Valley Parent n September 2019 "Come here." By the end of 24 months, children should be able to make simple requests such as "more milk," know up to 50 words and be understood most of the time. For my son, he missed almost all of his milestones for language. He didn't seem interested in listening to me talk or repeat words. He didn't look around when a dog barked outside, he didn't laugh or coo, he was just silent. For Christina of Wappingers, she didn't notice any delay with her first child until she went in for a well visit around 18 months. "Another kid about the same age was talking up a storm and speaking very clearly. My daughter said "Mommy" and "Daddy" but that was about it. That was my first clue." Language is a complex process It takes a lot to turn a thought into words. A thought must get translated into sounds by coordinating breath, muscles, tongue and mouth. Plus, By RIELLY GREY O ne of the most anticipated milestones for parents is hearing their child say those precious first words. We can't even wait to hear "Mama" and "Dada" or something adorably mispronounced like "tebby bear." But what happens when this milestone passes by and your child still isn't speaking? It's unexpected, frustrating and heartbreaking. My son has autism and was non-verbal. It's important to know, you are not alone. Missed milestones Children develop at their own pace and different strengths emerge at different times. There are, however, some important thresholds for language and communication skills. According to the Mayo Clinic, by 12 months children should start imitating sounds, looking toward the direction of sounds and understand simple sentences like, there needs to be an understanding of what is being said to effectively respond. Eye contact, tone, body language, gestures, and facial ex- pressions also play a major role in communication. Being able to hear the speaker, yourself and filter out surrounding sounds is also a vital part. If there's a breakdown in any small part of this complex process, the result could be delayed speech development. Ask for help Your first stop should be your child's pediatrician. Make a list or take a video of your child's struggle to speak. Include any behaviors that seem unusual, such as excessive drooling or chewing, problems with attention and interest or regressions. Your pediatrician can then refer your child for a screening to determine the degree of delay and appropriate special education services. And throughout this process, you will have a team of specialists that will assist you Why won't my child talk? What to do if your child has a speech delay Rielly Grey's young son, Simon (pictured), missed almost all of his milestones for language. He didn't laugh or coo. He was silent.

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