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Why does my 2-year-old daughter still use sign language to communicate?

Q: My 2 years old daughter is a hyperactive child. She is not showing any tendency to speak. She communicates using signs and gestures and even if we don't pay attention to her sign languages, she doesn't show any attempt to speak. Of late, she has started getting irritated and cries when her demands are not met with. She had been going to a play school for the last 5 months. Though she was very happy to go there initially, for the last 2 weeks she refuses to enter the school. She has not developed any toilet sense as yet. We are concerned with her lack of interest to speak and also with her hyperactivity. Please guide us.

A:If your 2 year old does not want to go to the play school, please do not force her. Perhaps she was too young when she started. It is best that you toilet train her before sending her to school. I have heard that the helpers (ayaas) at many centres become angry and impatient with children who are too young to indicate their needs and may soil themselves. Give her toys and activities for her age level and make speaking a part of your interactions with her. Talk to her while giving her a bath and when feeding her. Gently help her to use words for the things she wants. I think that she will start talking gradually. I do not think that you should use the label her hyperactive. Make sure she has enough sleep and proper food -- no Cola drinks and a minimum of readymade snacks.

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