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Why doesn't my son respond when we talk to him?

Q: My son is 7 months old. He is aware of sounds, but when we call him or talk to him, he responds only sometimes while ignoring us most of the times. He keeps looking at different things or elsewhere. It seems that he is not able to understand that we are speaking to him. Is this behaviour normal or do I need to be concerned?

A:Babies communicate in many ways. They would look at you of course, but will also snuggle up to you and make gurgling sounds to express contentment and so on. Is your child doing this? Does he turn to locate a sound? Does he appear to hear the music that is played or sung for him? If you are in doubt, you could get his hearing checked. Remedial work if it is necessary, is better started early. However, there may be no hearing problem. Infants are interested in looking at bright coloured things and things that move. Normally the face of the mother or other caregivers is the most interesting thing for the child. There are many differences in the pace of development, which would fall into the category of normal. However, if you continue to have doubts, do consult a kind, patient and expert doctor or psychologist, who can guide you.

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