Speech Concerns in Toddlers

Children's Health |

Your pediatrician is not concerned about your son’s language development, because he hasn’t had a history of ear infections and because he is using language fairly well. It is not likely that your son is having problems hearing.

Rather, it is likely that your son’s language development has been delayed a bit by having lived in a country where English is not the major language. You don’t say what language you speak at home in the United States or what language you spoke in Argentina. What language did he hear on TV in Argentina, and what language do his peers and his babysitters use there?

Most likely your son is adjusting to having heard two languages in Argentina and now working to master only one. I’d suggest that you continue to talk clearly to your son, repeating things he says and expanding on them. When he says “more juice,” you might respond, “Sure, I’ll get you more juice.” Read books to him every day, pointing out pictures and action in the book and exposing him to more vocabulary.

Don’t insist that he talk to you; you should be able to tell that he understands your language by the things he does in response.

And his word and sentence use should increase over the next several months. Your doctor can make other suggestions, including a referral to a speech and language specialist, if your son does not seem to be developing language well.