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Why is my child unable to frame sentences and talk?

Q: My daughter is 4 years old. She is not speaking as per a 4 year old kid. She sings rhymes and movie songs. But she is unable to communicate with us. She repeats whatever is told to her. But on her own is unable to frame sentences and talk. She is hyperactive compared to her age children. We noticed that she is unable to communicate with us and other children at the age of 3. She plays with kids elder to her and does not mingle with kids younger to her. She identifies all colours and fruits but lacks concentration. Can you advise me on increasing her speech capability and her concentration?

A:Your daughters development does seem a little uneven. But she is learning things and can sing! Get her a lot of picture books and stories and see if she is able to follow the narrative. Do this gradually, not at once. Does she follow what you say?. In your description, there are some signs of what is called Autism a condition that may be a result of some distortion in the wiring of the brain. Whatever we do for the child must be done patiently and at a pace that is acceptable to her. In the NDTV archives, there is information on the condition and treatment of Autism, which you might find useful. But I cannot put a label on her condition yet. When she plays with older children, how does she express herself? You will have to watch her to find the easiest way of dealing with her inability to use speech. If she is happy, that is a major plus point. Begin from her ordinary activities like a bath or a meal to encourage her to see the purpose of talking. Get a group of children, even older ones and see if they can enact a play or tell a story, which has continuity. Let your daughter also take a small part. If you happen to be in or go to a metropolitan city which has expert advice available on matters of children, you might wish to consult an expert (Psychologist or Counsellor). All the best.

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