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Why does my child have delayed speech?

Q: My son is 2-1/2 years old and he is a twin. His sister started talking at the age of 9 months and he is still not talking very much. Just a few words like book, ball, apple, banana and yellow. He is having early intervention two times a week and it seems to be helping. He can't really express himself very well. Do you think my son can be autistic?

A:Since they are twins, it is possible that one of them had a problem in utero. However, there is no need to compare them. (That is easier to say than do). Give him encouragement to talk, play with him and let him listen to children's music and sing along. Even if he is autistic, he can be helped to develop normally. He will not have a problem communicating with you but it may be difficult with people he does not know.

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