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Does my child need speech therapy?

Q: My son turned a year old a month back. By God’s grace he has reached all milestones and walked independently when he was 11 months old. My son is a very fussy eater, does not want to eat, he is currently 78 cms in height and 9.8 kgs in weight and prefers milk. My worry now is that he has not uttered a word till date, he said ‘mama’ when he was 10 months old and after that has not uttered a word. We had his BARE test done, which was normal. Should I show him to a speech therapist? I am a working mother and talk to him in the evenings.

A:There is absolutely no need to show your child to a speech therapist now. He is only a year old, when normally children begin to talk. Talk to him when you are giving him a bath or feeding him, introducing him to new words for things that he can see. He will be taking it all in. Play music and have some lively music that he likes and can move to. But do not force anything. Children are good at indicating when they are ready for a new experience. Be sensitive to his expressions and body movements. When you are away, be sure that the caregiver understands how to play with the child and care for his needs. Do not expose him to a lot of TV as this gives the child confused signals. To him it is noisy and chaotic. If it is possible for you to spend more time with the child, do so. If it is not, ensure that he gets the right amounts of stimulation, play, rest, sleep and nutrition. Let him drink milk. Bring in the solids gradually. Make them soft and easy to swallow and tasty. Give him a lot of hugging and cuddling. That is nutrition for his happiness.

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