Parents need not worry excessively about toddlers whose speech begins late. Many parents worry about its impact on emotional well-being and the risk of behavioral problems as the child grows up.
In a pioneering study, researchers followed Perth's Telethon Institute for Child Health Research and monitored language delay in children between the ages of two till they reached adolescence.
Professor Andrew Whitehouse, who led the study that tracked 142 children found that while assessing 142 late talkers from age two till 17, their behavioral problems seemed to vanish as they improved in language.
Prof Whitehouse advised parents that they should not be too concerned if their toddlers began to speak very late. "They are not programmed for a life of misery. The best thing parents can do is provide a rich language learning environment and do that by getting down on the floor and interacting and reading with their children. By the time they are entering school if they are not at the same language stage as their peer that's when we say they have language impairment."
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