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Old 02-22-2011, 11:59 AM
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Sign language does not replace nor hinder speech development in children. It merely gives their brain another path to make sense of HOW to communicate. Some children are more visual and signs give them a tactile way of communicating WHILE they are learning HOW to speak. You can not make a child speak. You can encourage them to express their needs/wants but you cant withhold their every need until they speak to you.

As mentioned before many many conditions can prevent a child from speaking and this issue shouldnt be taken lightly. You asked earlier if it is too early for an autism/spectrum diagnosis. NO but actually getting one will depends on your area and your community resources. Do you have early intervention, birth-three intervention, IEIC anything like that? Some drs are starting to DX earlier or refer but a parent would have to bring this issue up. Talk with this parent about it. NO speech at this age is an absolute indicator (thats the actual terminology special education calls them to show HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO DEAL WITH). Mom may have some ideas about this too but don't avoid the issue just to keep the client. It wont turn out good for any of you if you dont get this kid services and they do need them.

Someone mentioned celiac. IF that is a concern you will have some difficulty getting tested for it unless you have anecdotal evidence to support your concern. The test is very expensive and many Drs. wont do it until they have supporting reasons/concerns and they have already ruled out other issues. For that reason I would talk to mom about it right away- it might be something that takes a few months to get a for sure answer on. Time a little one can't wait- especially if they are already this far behind.

And get rid of the paci- it obviously isnt helping the issue any. My rule is 18 months and no paci- leave it at the door.
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