Is my preschooler's development lopsided if she's very physical but not much of a talker?

Is my preschooler's development lopsided if she's very physical but not much of a talker?

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Children develop at different rates in different ways, and some children are just naturally more physical than others. Some young children show a greater interest in their gross motor skills — climbing, running, jumping — than in other areas of development, like language. By age 3, though, you should see your child chatting away, and if she was a delayed talker before, she should have caught up by now. No matter how physical your child is, if she's still not putting lots of sentences together, it's cause for concern.

You can work on language skills with your child by using her favorite activities. If she likes books, sit down with her and read a simple picture story — books with about one sentence per page are good. When you've finished the story, go back to the beginning and have her retell the tale. You can also take a walk together and point out objects like birds and trees; ask her to describe what she sees. If she's partial to playgrounds, encourage her to talk about what she's doing. Say "Up the slide!" as she climbs up the ladder and "Down the slide!" as she glides down. Encourage her to say it, too.

Of course, your child's quietness could just be a function of her personality. Instead of focusing on how chatty she is, pay attention to the way in which she communicates. By the time your child is 3, she should speak in short phrases ("Me big girl") and full sentences, even if she mispronounces many words. As she turns 4, she'll say, "I'm a big girl now." She should also be able to process your questions and give a reasonable answer. For instance, if you say, "Claire, where is your ball?" she should respond with a phrase like, "I put it in da box" instead of ignoring you or just echoing your question. It's okay if she doesn't initiate a lot of conversation, but her interaction with you should be responsive.

If this isn't the case, have her hearing checked first. You should also talk to her pediatrician or — if she's in preschool — her teacher. Her school may be able to refer you to an early intervention program (usually coordinated through the county or public school system) that will provide a free screening. Her doctor can also refer you to a private speech-language pathologist for an evaluation.

Watch the video: Treatment for Plagiocephaly (July 2022).


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