As a parent, it can be frustrating and scary to realize that your child is not hitting their speech development milestones. Before you start to panic, it is important to understand some of the reasons why your child is not talking yet and what you can do to encourage this development. Here are three of the most common reasons why your child might not be talking yet:
Not Being Talked to Enough
This source recommends, “although many parents might feel silly constantly talking to a person who cannot yet talk back, the regular and persistent verbal communication that you share with your infant is imperative to their speech development. Infants respond to any kind of verbal communication, regardless of whether it is baby talk or more adult vocabulary and inflections.” Young impressionable brains are wired to soak up all of the sounds, tones, and words so that they are able to process those into a vocabulary. By being intentional about speaking with your infant from its first days of life, you will be encouraging it to develop its own language skills when the time comes.
This source explains, “one baby in a thousand is born profoundly deaf. Another two to three are born with partial hearing loss. Hearing loss is the No. 1 birth defect in America. Many studies have shown that early diagnosis of hearing loss is crucial to the development of speech, language, cognitive, and psychosocial abilities. Treatment is most successful if hearing loss is identified early, preferably within the first month of life. That's why 39 states require some type of hearing test before the baby leaves the hospital.” Common hearing problems can be negated with proper intervention, making it important to ensure that your child is tested.
Oftentimes, children with older siblings are delayed in their speech capabilities. This source reports, “babies and toddlers with siblings are more likely to let the older kids speak for them, rather than talking for themselves. After a while, they will start to become dependent on the sibling to speak for them out of habit.” If your baby appears to be delayed in speech acquisition, it is a good idea to instruct any older siblings to encourage their younger brother or sister to speak up for themselves.
Take care to remove any obstacles out of your child's way when it comes to language development. By doing so, you can do your part to encourage normal patterns of speech development from a young age.
Life with children just seems to go by so fast. They may be dealing with these challenges now, but it could feel like this is only a passing second. That’s why it’s so important to take photos of your children, especially in their first couple years of life!