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Ask the Pediatrician

Dr. Jennifer Shu and her team of pediatricians answer your health questions.

Dr. Jennifer Shu

Question & Answer

Question

How do I know if my baby has a language delay?

Answer

Language skills begin long before the first spoken words. Your child starts to communicate with you during the first year of life. She may respond to you and the world around her with eye gazes, smiles, gestures, or sounds. Later on, you'll notice more obvious "speech" skills or milestones. While children develop at different rates, they usually are able to do certain things at certain ages.

If your baby does not return smiles, does not respond to certain sounds, acts as if he is in his own world, has trouble asking for what he wants, or doesn't notice when you are in the room, talk to your pediatrician since these may be signs of language delay.