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Does my daughter have a speech problem?

Q: My 2.8 years old daughter is lagging in speech. She speaks only a few words and makes us understand with actions. She has a habit of putting her two right hand fingers in her mouth most of the time. Now she tries to speak 1-2 sentences in our mother tongue but not in English and Hindi. She never gives any response to unknown persons. Is there any problem with her? Should I show her to a doctor?

A:There is no specific problem with your daughter, to go and see a doctor. The child's speech may be a little slow, because she is exposed to three languages - mother tongue, Hindi and English. Gradually she will pick up all three languages. Give her picture books to see and read them to her. Let her listen to children's music in her mother tongue. Discourage her putting her fingers in her mouth. It is unhygienic and can cause worms in the stomach. Talk to her while you are giving her food and when you are feeding her. Give labels to the things she uses. Describe slowly the taste and appearance of the food items and so on. If she is in an active speaking environment, her speech should develop.


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