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Why is my child not talking?

Updated: Dec 29, 2021

The early years of a child's life are very important.

In the first five years, they develop a lot of skills. Every child has their own pace of achieving developmental milestones still parents should always keep a check whether the child is attaining them on time.

There is a certain time period under which children achieve these and if they don't we consider it as a RED FLAG.

Let's discuss some red flags of the major speech and language milestones that could be observed in children from age one to age four.

During the first year of children's lives, they achieve subtle milestones like lying on their stomach, head control, they smile when they hear your voice, and more. These growths help them to attain developmental milestones, like crawling and babbling.

The Red flags during the period could be-

  • Do not seem to respond to loud noises

  • Do not smile at the sound of your voice by the age of 2 months

  • Shows no affection for the person who cares for them

  • Do not turn head to locate sounds by the age of 4 months

  • Do not laugh or make squealing sounds by the age of 5 months

  • Says no single words ("mama" or "dada")

  • Do not learn to use gestures such as waving or shaking head

  • Do not show interest in "peek-a-boo" or "patty cake" by the age of 8 mos.

  • Do not babble by the age of 8 mos. ("dada," "baba," "mama")

The child rolls the ball down the floor and to get it back, they stand up, take the first step but fall on the floor. They try again and again to move forward just to get the ball. The age of one to two years is full of experimenting with new things. Either it is from crawling to walking, or calling out mama's name for help.

Here are some Red Flags that could be observed in children of two years of age

  • Do not speak at least 15 words by the age of 18 months

  • Do not use two-word phrases by 2 years of age.

  • Does not seem to know the function of common household objects (brush, telephone, bell, fork, spoon) by 5 months of age.

  • Do not imitate actions or words by the age of 24 months.

  • Do not follow simple one-step instructions by 24 months.

The child develops social skills as they turn three. That involves them interacting with children of their age. For some kids, it is very easy to reach out and make friends but for some, it could be a difficult task.

Here are some Red Flags that could be observed in children of three years of age -

  • Persistent drooling or unclear speech

  • Inability to communicate in short phrases

  • No involvement in pretend play

  • Failure to understand simple instructions.

Curiosity gets the best of children that they could not help but ask “Why?”. At the age of four, children have achieved all the major developmental milestones which include- language, social, cognition, emotion, and speech. They expand their vocabulary, get possessive about their things, try to narrate the stories with their best attempt.

At the age of four, there could be some Red Flags the child shows -

  • Do not engage in fantasy play

  • Do not respond to people outside the family

  • Do not use sentences of more than three words

  • Do not use "me" or "you" appropriately


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