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Am I doing enough to enhance my 2 years old son's speech?

Q: My son who is 20 months old was born prematurely at 34 weeks and weighed about 2 kgs. He is now going to turn 2 years soon but he does not speak much. He only says: 'papa', 'mama', 'dada', 'chacha', baby and the rest is not very clear. He explains everything in actions or the first syllables of some words like 'b' for 'bhaiya', 'b' for 'bahar'(out), etc. I am worried about his speech. I spend more time with him reciting poems, reading books to him etc. Please guide me. Should I get his hearing checked since his paediatrician has suggested me to do so? What else could I do?

A:It is good that you are observant about your child's development. However, I do not see any cause for worry. I think you are doing the right thing by telling him stories and singing songs for him. He will pick them up and sing along in a few months. For a 16-month old, he seems to be fairly close to others his age. In all aspects, children develop at different rates. From what you say, there seems to be no indication of a hearing problem. He is not different from other children. Even if you would like him to be talking fluently, do not push him. Give him some time. Keep him happy and engaged in play and let him know through all your actions, that he has the love of his parents and others in the family. All the best.

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