Late Talkers – Research Cautions The “Wait And See” Approach

Elaine Weitzman, speech-language pathologist and Executive Director of The Hanen Centre, says that while a ‘wait and see’ approach for late talkers may be appropriate in the area of behavior, it is not advised in the area of language development.

“It’s very difficult to predict which late talkers will catch up and which will fall into the 20-30% group who don’t,” [3]Weitzman cautions. “A ‘wait and see’ approach simply delays treatment that can make a huge difference to a child who needs it.”  When parents notice that their toddler isn’t reaching the appropriate language milestones for his age, Weitzman recommends that they get an assessment from a licensed speech-language pathologist, who will help them decide whether intervention is necessary.

“We know that the window of opportunity is greatest when a child is very young”, says Weitzman.  “If a toddler is late in his or her language development, parents will never regret acting early. They might, however, regret acting too late.”

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