Watching and Waiting – Delayed Language

mother-and-child_sihouetteLike so many others, I started a blog and then tapered off in my writing. This was partially due to not dedicating(having!) time, but also because this blog is about multilingualism and my son. And I am still waiting on my son’s speech.


Waiting, waiting, and trying not to worry, but that doesn’t always work.


Yes, it is at the point where I have to take my own advice and be patient. He’s 18 months old and should have a handful of words under his belt. But he doesn’t. He’s still primarily speaking in gibberish, although he tries to call each member of our home by name (literally, he’s dropping “mama” and calls me “Jejish.” So he may just be a late talker, but he may have an actual language delay).


Multilingualism hasn’t been proven to cause language delays, although it is often cited because rationally we think — these children are getting 2x as much input, so they may need to take more time for output.


Not true, at least not true for every child. For some, it can be a certainly be a contributing factor and that is what I am assuming is the case for my son. However, the fact remains that plenty of multilingual children start speaking at the same time as their monolingual counter parts.


Part of the reason why I am not totally freaking out is because his receptive language development (comprehension of language) is much farther along than his expressive language development (production of language). That is because these two parts of language development are controlled by two different parts of the brain. This also explains why some of us who are learning another language as adults can often understand it much better than we can speak.


Countless other parents have gone through the same thing, with speech delayed even further past two years old. In the meantime, I am watching and waiting, and trying to be patient and not jump to any conclusions.

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