How can I help my 4 year old to develop speech?
Q: I have a four years old son who has a speech and language problem. He can't make sentences and is not able to communicate with others but he is not an autistic child. I have shown him to a speech and language therapist. They say that he has a very slow progress, as his mind seems to be like a 3 years old. Can you suggest me why it is so and what should I do next to help my child or suggest me some good doctors in this field in India or in London?
A:Speech is only one of the indicators of development. If your 4 year old can play well with others of his age, if he is interested in what is happening around him, if he takes responsibility for his toilet needs and for feeding himself etc the problem of slow speech may not be so serious in itself. In any case, whether doctor or psychologist, the advice to parents would be to provide the child with stimulating activities that he can handle, to be affectionate and firm and to provide him with books and toys which will help his mental development. If a child is a little slow in his development, it is not a medical condition and it is certainly not something that a doctor can cure. In fact most doctors are usually so busy treating illnesses of a serious kind, that they are not likely to have any suggestions for enriching the education of a child who is slow. In India, we have many institutions for children with a problem or a disability, but since you have not indicated where you live, I am unable to make a specific suggestion. It is not necessary to go to London for this. You will spend a lot of money and face an unknown world. If you can go to the UNICEF office in your State, they might guide you to the right type of school or institution. All the best.