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What do we do as parents to help our child talk?

Q: My daughter is 2 years and 3 months old and can barely utter a few syllables or words like papa, umma, tata but cannot speak a full sentences. She understands what is told to her. She started walking when she was 1 year and 9 months old. Both my wife and I are working and the baby is in the day care with a different language (Marathi) speaking lady. We speak Malayalam or English at home, however, she still responds positively to all the languages at home and the day care. Does my child need a speech therapist? Will she develop her normal speech ability? What do we do as parents to help her talk?

A:Children learn to speak by hearing others talk. Make sure that when you are with your child, you are talking to her and waiting for her response. Even when she is eating or being given a bath, you can talk to her. When a child is exposed to 2 or 3 languages, there could be a short delay in her speaking. She needs stimulation, the company of adults and if possible, other children. She does not need a therapist, but she does need the company of others who talk.

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