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Speech Problem in 22-Month-Old?

LD and ADD/ADHD Expert Advice from Eileen S. Marzola, Ed.D.

Q: My 22-month-old son jabbers all the time but says nothing that I can really understand -- yet I know what he wants. I read an article in a parenting magazine that a 2-year-old should be saying about 100 words. I read to him all the time and he's very smart, but my husband and I are concerned. Is this normal? I know some kids learn faster than others, but I still worry.

A: My speech and language colleagues tell me that they usually worry when a child is not speaking much by three, but often give a boy a little more time. The fact that your child is jabbering away makes me think that he may be trying to communicate but is unable to produce the speech sounds. It's possible that this is caused by some oral motor difficulties. I would suggest seeing a speech therapist just to eliminate any possible oral motor issues that could be interfering with his speech development. Your pediatrician should be able to refer you to an appropriate person.

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For more than 20 years, Eileen Marzola has worked with children and adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, and with their parents and teachers. She has been a regular education classroom teacher, a consultant teacher/resource teacher, an educational evaluator/diagnostician, and has also taught graduate students at the university level. Marzola is an adjunct assistant professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Hunter College of the City University of New York. She also maintains a private practice in the evaluation and teaching of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.


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