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kdimitrov
kdimitrov asks:
Q:

How can I help a toddler learn to speak correctly instead of babbling?

Hi, I'm Kay, a daycare provider, in savage MN. I am currently care for this two and half yr old boy who I adore so much.  I am very concern regarding his speech.  He really wants to talk but all he can do is bable.  I can understand and relate as to what he needs or try to tell me.  But his words should be clear by now.  I told his parents to contact a speech therapist, but they still don't have the time. Whatelse can I do to help this child?        
In Topics: Speech and language issues
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Wayne Yankus
Jun 16, 2008
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What the Expert Says:

You made the first important step by alerting his parents of the delay in speech formation.  I would continue to encourage them to discuss this with his pediatrician or if you are in charge of the visits to the doctor, then you bring it up.

If time is an issue, relate to the family that many speech evaluations for young children that are done through county or state special services are done at home and they would not necessarily have to travel.

In the mean time, read to him and encourage him to try working with words.

Wayne A. Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics

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Additional Answers (1)

kat_eden
kat_eden , Parent writes:
Hi!  I think it's really wonderful that you're so concerned about this little guy and so committed to his overall well being.  He's lucky to have you and I'm sure his parents feel lucky to have found you!

I'm not a speech therapist or physician but just from my experience it does seem odd that at 2 1/2 he doesn't have more words.  You're right to try to get help for him if he needs it because depending on the cause, speech issues can often be improved (or resolved) through the right kinds of therapy.  His parents don't have to go to the trouble of seeking out a speech therapist at this point.  His pediatrician should be able to evaluate the boy and determine whether more testing and / or services are needed.  

Maybe a good place to start would be giving the parents some more information to help explain your concerns.  We have some great articles on speech delays including this one:  http://www.education.com/magazine/article/Ed_Does_Your_Child_Need/  

Maybe you could print it out for them and talk about it at pick up or drop off?  This article talks a little about where the boy should be at this point, encourages seeking outside opinions, but most of all is really encouraging about how helpful therapy can be.

Good luck and congratulations again on being a great caregiver.

Kat
Education.com Community Team
> 60 days ago

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