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Why does my 3 year old grandson never reply to a question?

Q: My 3.5 years old grandson started speaking late. His parents would ask him questions and he would not answer, then they would ask him to repeat the question. He goes to a play school and takes interest in everything. But he still doesn't answer any question and would just repeat it. At home, at times he would answer and many times he would repeat the question only. His teacher is puzzled. Is he doing this because of some disorder?

A:There is a condition where children just echo what they hear. But, before putting any label on it, I think you must provide more examples of real life questions and answers, so that the child understands that just repeating the question is not what is expected of him. The parents should make up conversations with glove puppets or finger puppets (they are easy to make at home) and let the child take a puppet part where he has to do both, asking and answering. Talking clearly to him and others in the home, will be helpful for the child to get to know how conversations are held. If the family lives in a city where they have access to Psychologists or Counsellors, they might want to consult one, if they find that their efforts at home are not succeeding.

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