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How to manage communication problems in young children?

Q: I have a son who is 2 years 4 months old now. He has not started communicating to us in words. He gets his work done through gestures and also repeats a few words after us to get his work done. But on his own never comes to converse with us in words. At the same time he can understand commands identify things and also name them verbally and is very inquisitive. Has no hearing problem loves to recite rhymes and songs though words are not too clear loves to watch TV and loves people known to him. I had put him in a play school for four months where he was more of a loner and towards the end showed some signs of mingling. No problem with eating or sleeping. How do I get him to communicate? Is it a disorder of any sort? We spend a lot of time with him but still has not helped. Please help.

A:Your son sounds like a bright and happy child. If he can pick up songs and rhymes, he is using speech, in a sense. You have not mentioned how many languages he is hearing in the home and play school. Quite often, children who grow up in a bilingual home sort out when to use which language. But some children wait till they have clearly separated the languages and then start talking. I have known about a child who heard three languages in his home and quietly absorbed all of them. He spoke only when he was 4 years old and in full sentences in all the three languages. Each child is different. I don't think you have a real problem. You can devise ways of making the child ask for what he wants, than anticipating it. Any kind of word games could be fun. Leave him to play in the company of other children his age or a little older. He will be able to use speech in a few months, I feel sure. Just continue to spend time with him and to play with him.

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