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If a 2.5-year-old child seems not to be talking, parents are often anxious and worried. However, there is no need to be worried as most children learn and grow at a pace often unique to each child. A child can develop language faster than the other child, but it is also vital to note the steady language progress of the child and to raise concern about why 2.5 years old is not talking. The followings are a few factors that parents should consider before raising alarm:
· When your toddler is not babbling at a year old. Babies are expected to be babbling in their year one, but if that is not the case, then parents should be at alert.
· When your toddler does not copy your spoken words. The most common words spoken among parents are ‘papa’, ‘mama’, ‘daddy’. If the child doesn’t respond the same way, then it calls for concern.
· When your toddler does not show self-consciousness, especially when you are addressing the baby. A 2.5-year-old may not clearly speak the words but should be able to respond to voices and to develop on it as time goes on. It becomes a warning sign if found otherwise.
What’s common about 2.5 year old child?
Ideally, 2.5 year old can:
- · Ask questions
- · Sing songs and say rhymes
- · Call out their own names and that of other’s
- · Use three, four-words form sentences.
- · Repeat words spoken in conversation.
- · Follow instructions to some levels
- · Understand what is said to the child.
Talking is a physical process of sound production and expressing words. A 2.5-year-old not talking may try but have the challenge to form correct sounds in expressing words. This doesn’t imply a serious problem at all.
But if you want a few things to do when a 2.5-year-old is not talking, here are my five top uncommon tricks.
5 Uncommon tricks to try to make a 2.5-year-old talk
You need to talk to your child. Whatever your child gives you, take it and return it. If your child says ‘sweet’, ‘cookies’, ‘ball’ e.t.c, then you give those items to the child saying ‘sweet! This is sweet, lick the sweet, hmm yummy!’ Try to expand the words and give them back to your child. It’s a powerful trick to facilitate language development for your child.
Don’t just take your child to the bathroom, start up a chat, and explain what you are doing. Change of diapers, preparing meals is also a good time to talk. When 2.5 years old is not talking, then ask your child lots of questions about shape, time, size, place, and numbers of objects seen. You can help your baby to stimulate her speech.
2. Give attention
Studies have shown that even if you give your child words, it is also necessary to let them express themselves while you listen. Paying attention confirms and makes the child always seek out when there is a need for discussion. So when your child is babbling, singing, or trying to express words, listen, and reply to your child how important those things are. By doing this, it will help your child to gain an interest in talking.
When your child points at objects or gives it to you, reply with ‘Thank you! This is a ball’. Do this while smiling and your baby will begin to join words. Read books together. As your child points at the pictures in the book, respond and explain what it’s all about.
3) Speak words correctly
It is not recommended for parents to talk abnormally or create baby versions of words such as ‘ma-ma’, ‘ba-ba’, ‘a-ta’ e.t.c. Your child will naturally create these words believing it’s the correct way of saying it. However, help them by repeating those words correctly. You must also take caution not to insist that the child must say it exactly the way you said it. When they say ‘ish’, you say ‘fish, yes! Swim! Swim! So good to eat too’
4) Melody and Gesture
You need to sing and show gesture with your face when talking with your child. You can also demonstrate with your hands and by dancing just to make expression more interesting. You get to gain the attention of the child when this is adopted and it aids the talking and learning process of your child.
5) Don’t rely on screen
The best interactive method for a 2.5 year old that is not talking is you. Yes! You can’t replace that. When you interact as brothers, sisters, mom’s and grandparents with your funny faces, it can’t be replaced with a TV screen or any computer games. So it is advisable that you limit the screen usage because it teaches just the concept but not interactive enough as to what in the baby’s world could learn.
Let your child have her quiet time. No! This is not just siesta. Make sure you turn off your screen and let your child have fun talking and playing with you.
You must remember that your 2.5-year-old is still a baby and must be treated at her pace. Let them interact in their own world rather than comparing them with their peers.
Parents have lots of roles to play when their 2.5-year-old is not talking. You need to keep engaging your child with songs and encourage them to imitate your words and gestures. Read pictorials storybooks while they see and listen. You must note that tackling speech early is the best way to go. However, if the tips above do not work for your child, visit your pediatrician or speech pathologist to evaluate the child’s speech capacity, and to get more counsel.