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Q: My grand daughter just turned two years old and doesn't speak. In all other ways, she appears to be fine. Should her parents be concerned?

Deborah Uram, M.S. CCC/SLP A: By 2 years of age, children are using many different consonant sounds, imitating words, using names of familiar people, naming pictures in books and starting to put two words together: "more juice, Daddy home". Sometimes words are being said that we, as adults, may not recognize as words because they are not pronounced clearly. Some children may omit a sound or substitute one sound for another. Speech sounds follow a developmental path; it would take a Speech Pathologist to evaluate whether or not the sounds are typical for a child's age.

Sometimes children do not have a reason to speak if their needs are being met. Children should be given the opportunity to learn words and use them to make requests, greet others and ask questions. They need positive feedback from the adults in their world to let them know that communicating with others can not only get them what they want but it makes everyone around them so happy to hear them talk!

If you have concerns about a child's speech and/or language development, talk to the pediatrician to get a referral for a Speech & Language Evaluation by a Speech-Language Pathologist. An SLP has a state license and a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Deborah Uram, M.S. CCC/SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist at The Early Learning Institute (teli) and Director of teli's Out-Patient Rehabilitation division with offices in Monroeville and Greentree. For more information, call (412) 922-8322 or visit the website http://www.telipa.org

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