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Is delayed speech in a child serious?

Q: My daughter is 3 years old and I get worried as she still does not speak full sentences whereas I have seen that by these age most of the children speak quite well. Though she can say small sentences and words very clearly but not the full sentences. Is it some sort of abnormality? Kindly suggest if I need to consult any speech therapist.

A:If your daughter understands well what others speak and she is speaking short sentences, it appears she will soon be having normal speech. You have not mentioned when she started speaking few first few words. Mostly the cause of delayed speech is that parents were late speakers. I presume her neonatal period was normal and so also other milestones like sitting, walking, obeying commands, etc. If you feel that sometimes she does not seem to listen to you when you talk to her, get her hearing checked first, give her a trial by giving her lot of stimulation and practice to speak at home, you may put her in pre-nursery school - children learn faster from their peers. In case, in about 2 months time she does not improve you may take help of a speech therapist.

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