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Karl Peets
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi,
Our 2,5 year old does not speak yet. We do speak 2 languages at home, Estonian and English. He watches movies and TV shows in English. 90 % of our conversations are in Estonian and we speak to him in Estonian.
Will watching English TV and hearing Estonian from the family create confusion and possibly cause the lateness in his speech? Hearing tests were positive. Could this be a sign of Autism?
Thanks for your input.


Elena
Reply with quote  #2 
Tere Karl,

Sorry, maybe it's a bit late I came across your message.
First of all, don't worry. Our son (bi-lingual) started talking at the age of three. He was a late talker. It was two languages that made him a bit confused though there're a lot of children who do start talking without any delay even in bi-lingual families, boys do tend to be slower.

I am from Estonia (Russian speaker) and I'm married to an Englishman (we've been married since 1999). We live in the UK predominantly but since our first child was born we started spending more time in Estonia with him.

Basically, I speak Russian to my son and my husband speaks English to him. Together we speak English to each other. So, our main (first) language in our family is English. Our son started saying few words (separate words, not sentences) when he was about 2.3 months old (mainly in Russian) yet before that he was repeating other words he heard in Estonia (when we lived there). So, because of such a mix-up, he started talking later.

First, they need to get to grips of two languages and separate them into which one is more important to them. Then they will start using predominantly the language they hear most.

Late speech development in bi-lingual families is a norm (but not for all children). Do trust your own parental instincts! Autism is not characterised by lack of speech. This is not Autism. So please don't listen to such person who told you about this silly idea.
I hope this helps.

Just continue talking to your child every time you're performing any action (like washing-up, getting up, getting dressed), talk to him during play what toys are doing (describe each action like if you were a dubbing actor). Don't be afraid to talk a lot even if you don't have any reply back. Just read him books (a lot of books) before going to bed, during meals, quiet times, etc.

Plenty of talk & conversation from your side - all you need to kickstart the speech. At the same time don't be pushy or demanding. Don't insist on child answering your particular question if a child doesn't want to reply. Patience and good luck!

Elena
Karl
Reply with quote  #3 
Dear Elena,
Thank you for your support and words of confidence. Since the time I posted the original message in Oct our son has made progress with his speech. We are also trying to enroll him into a daycare with emphasis on speech therapy. Interaction with children his own age is most important.
Sincerely,
Karl

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