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My 16 month old baby still does not talk

My 16 month old baby still does not talk a word, I mean a proper word, she speaks her own language. I speak to her very slowly and repeat the words many times so she memorises them, but she talks back to me in her own language :( She has a very good understanding of things, if I ask her to show me or bring me certain things, she will find and bring them to me, but she does not talk. is it normal?

Jane ...
Answer: If you are worried about her speech and language development you need firstly to have her hearing checked. You can get a referral to an audiologist from your GP or even your community health nurse. If your baby has had a history of repeated colds or ear infections then her risk of hearing loss is greater. The fact that you're aware of this and making a point of talking clearly to her is great, but maybe she's just not ready to talk just yet. if she has older siblings then she is more likely to be slower in developing language skills. Reading, talking, rhyming and encouraging her to join in in your conversations will help. By 18 months the "red flag" guidelines/recommendations for a referral state that toddlers need to be showing an interest in playing and interacting with others, have good eye contact, be able to say some clear words, can understand short requests eg "Where is the ball"? be able to hold and scribble with a crayon, attempt to build a tower of blocks, is attempting to walk without support and can stand alone. If you are at all worried about her then a chat with your healthcare professional would be worthwhile, if only for your own reassurance. Best Jane
Answered: 20 Sep 2013