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Why does my daughter not speak much?

Q: My 2.5 years old daughter does not talk much as other kids do of her age. She was born at 32 weeks with intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) weighing 1.2 kg. Her milestones were all delayed by 2 to 3 months. She speaks single words but tries hard to string two words together. She speaks two words only when I prompt and force her to speak. She is a little slow on the uptake. She has been going to a play school for the last 2 months and hardly speaks a word there. However, she sings all nursery rhymes well. I consulted the doctor and asked if speech therapy is needed. She says it is not necessary. Is this speech delay normal or does it need medical intervention?

A:Each child has his or her own pace of development, and a few months here or there are not important in the long run. Instead of being highly anxious about it as parents, maybe if you are relaxed, she would also not be so conscious of speaking. Do not force her to repeat all the time, but encourage her by praising her own efforts. Do not label her as slow in speech. Children are very sensitive and parents often pass on their own anxieties. Therefore, accept your child's unique pattern of development, and let her enjoy her childhood.

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