Speech Seems Delayed

by Susan Ayers
(Fort Myers, Fl)

My 21 month old baby’s speech seems delayed. He understands most things said to him and can follow directions like give this to your dad, throw your diaper away or touch your nose, toes etc. He even can eat with a fork or spoon. However, his speech seems delayed as he only says babble type words. He can say bye, shoe, cat, mom, and dad. He has trouble pronouncing words and when his sister says "B" he replies back saying "P".

At this stage it is hard to get him to communicate clearly. Is this normal? Should I take him to a speech therapist? He fell a number of times and incurred bruises to his forehead. Could that have caused any permanent development delays?

Comments for Speech Seems Delayed

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Boys Are Slower
by: Margaret Watson

Often boys are slower. All babies develop at different rates but, generally speaking, boys are not so articulate as girls of the same age. You are perhaps comparing your son with your daughter at the same age.

Your son obviously has some speech and understanding and it seems to be within normal limits. The confusion of consonants can also be normal at this stage. However do get his hearing checked and also ask you pediatrician to check how tight his tongue frenum is - the little piece that holds down the tongue. If this is too tight, it often makes articulation difficult. And be patient. My brother-in-law, who later obtained a doctorate, said nothing until his third birthday!

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