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Speech and Language


My daughter is 3 years old and used to say “Mum, Dad, Granny, Grandpa, give me”, now she doesn’t say any of those words. I think that she can learn to talk but she needs time and treatment. What I can do now? She walks, sits alone, plays with toys, sings, and draws.

Answer of our experts

Thank you for writing to us. The information you have provided about your daughter leads me to believe she will be able to talk. You said in your letter that she used to say, "Mum, Dad, Granny, Grandpa" and "give me." Now you say she is singing, drawing and playing with toys. These are all good signs that she will be able to talk again

It seems that almost all people with CdLS have oral-motor apraxia, which means they need help making words or other voluntary movements with their mouth. I believe your daughter knows the meaning of many words, but can not easily say them. Someone needs to help her and try the following activities with her

Gather together some things she likes, for example toys or food

In a playful manner, hold one of the items near your mouth and say the name of it several times. Say the name very slowly, at two seconds per syllable, and use inflection, almost like singing

Encourage her to imitate you

Give a lot of praise for any attempt she makes

Her first words may not sound exactly like yours, but if she uses them consistently, they are words for her

She may get frustrated if unable to communicate and you may want to consider alternative methods of communication in the meantime. This might include sign language, communication board, or other pictures/symbols

MG/TK 7-13-10

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Communication and language

When assessing communication, vision and hearing problems, speech impairments, intellectual disability, difficulties in social interaction and social anxiety should be considered. Video observations can be very useful.
Developmentally appropriate communication strategies (such as speech therapy, augmented communication input) should be implemented within the first 18 months of life.

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