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Anu R
Reply with quote  #1 
I'm almost desperate for answers.  My daughter is going to be three at the end of May.  She lives in a family where the we speak Hindi, Tamil, English (to her) & our nanny is a native Romanian.  My daughter understands things like "go bring shoes", "can you throw this in the garbage", "let's sleep" and can ask for stuff "do you wanna eat", "I want to go sit in the car".  However, her comprehension is limited.  For example, when I asked her to imitate me today, she didn't understand.  Is it normal for a child that is subject to roughly five languages to be behind on speech & comprehension?  We live in the US & she goes to day care for a couple of hours, 2 days a week.  Her teachers are concerned that she's behind other kids because she doesn't understand them although they've told me that she's responding much better over the last three weeks after we started teaching her to do things. 

My husband and I grew up in India so our English is accented as is the nanny's (she's from Romania).  Could accent be playing a part?  We're getting her evaluated by a psychologist on friday but I'm close to my wits end with worry.  Note that everyone speaks English to her, I speak some Tamil to her & the nanny used to speak in Romanian & uses Romanian (so my daughter is constantly trying to imitate my nanny's words and intonations).

On top of this, my daughter doesn't point well.  I'm concerned that maybe there is a trace of autism although, to be fair, we don't really point in our household & I'm slowly trying to teach her that.  She doesn't have any other issues - she's very affectionate (loves cuddling & hugging), loves interactive play with us, doesn't shy away from other kids or adults - she'll seek out other kids and sit next to them.  She's physically active, loves reading, music etc. Her ability to identify things is very good - so if we say "what's this" & point out a bunch of things, she'll name them without a problem.  She also learns about new things quickly.

We haven't shown her any TV & she hasn't socialized much because our nanny is kinda aloof. 

Should I be worried?  Does anyone else have a similar experience?  Did your kid catch-up?

I'd be grateful for any responses.

Slowly going crazy in USA
Location: USA
Languages: English (in 2 accents), Tamil, Romanian, Hindi & some Spanish from books.
Reply with quote  #2 
I'm going to encourage you not to worry. Your daughter seems like she's fine. She's just moving at her own pace.

Not showing her TV is a double edged sword. It could be good and bad. If you want her to be exposed to more spoken English without accents, then you might try getting a DVD or two of kids shows and letting her watch them on the computer for an hour every other day or so. Other than that, I dont see why TV would be an issue.

She has the vocabulary. She may just be lacking in syntax, dont worry about it . She seems like she's on track from what you've reported but wait and see what the Patholigist has to say.
Reply with quote  #3 

Hi Anu even this problem is with my niece who is also growing up in USA and we are from India as well. We have started sending her to pre-school but she still hasn't grasped much. I am also a worried mom. I don't work myself and stay at home with her but we mostly converse in Hindi and English. How is your daughter doing now?

Reply with quote  #4 
I am South African, my daughter is 3 1/2 and my husband and I are from different ethnic and language groups, she goes to nursery school for a full day, 5 days a week where they are taught and speak English and has friends who speak Afrikaans. When she started school at 2 she could not say a word in any of the languages. Now after a 1 1/2 years at Nursery school she speaks mostly English and is slowly picking up both my and my husbands languages. The key is not to worry or panick as I think most of the language developmental milestones were mostly based on kids who are only exposed to one language.

I spoke Xhosa my mother tongue up until the age of six and was never exposed to English, and am now speaking fluent English and work in an English environment. At home my husband speaks Tswana, my nanny Xhosa which fortunately is also my mother tongue and I speak mostly English to her and a little bit of Xhosa. I also let her watch a lot of English programs so that she can pick up more vocabulary. Her speech development is a little behind compared to other kids who speak only one language, but I am happy with it as she has reached all other milestones except for language and that is all that matters.
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