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Is my adopted daughter autistic?

Q: My daughter is 1 year and 8 months old. She is an adopted child. She hasn't started speaking as yet. She says "amma" and "appa". We adopted her when she was 7 months old. The problem is that we speak Tamil at home. Our neighbours speak Telugu & Hindi. She was hearing Marathi when we adopted her. She is a happy child and likes to play around. But, she is not very attentive and we are not able to teach her new things. Now, she is able to understand Tamil very well. We are worried that she is not repeating what we say. The doctor says her vocabulary is very low. We do not find any problem in her hearing. Should we go for further evaluation of our child? Is she autistic?

A:Your daughter may seem to be a little slow in language development, but then all kids are different. Children who speak later than usual, sometimes pick up very fast during the latter half of the second year. If she is a happy child, why do you suspect autism? Parents tend to be hyper-sensitive sometimes, especially if the baby is adopted. In case you find problems continuing e.g. in attention, or in language development, it would be advisable to consult a child or clinical psychologist at any major hospital in your city.

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