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    Recognizing Developmental Delays in Children

    Language and Speech Developmental Delays in Children continued...

    Types of treatment. If you or your child’s doctor suspects a speech delay problem, seek an evaluation by a speech-language pathologist. This specialist may test your child’s hearing and use speech therapy with your child. The specialist or doctor may also suggest that you:

    • communicate more with your child -- talk, sing, and encourage repetition
    • read daily to your child
    • reinforce speech and language throughout the day
    • get treatment for middle ear infections

    Warning signs of speech or language delays. Contact your child's doctor if your child has any of the following signs at the age that's indicated. In addition, watch for any loss of skills that have already been learned.

    By 3 to 4 months, contact the doctor if your child:

    • does not respond to loud noises
    • does not babble
    • begins babbling but does not try to imitate sounds (by 4 months)

    By 7 months, contact the doctor if your child:

    • does not respond to sounds

    By 1 year, contact the doctor if your child:

    • does not use any single words (like "mama")

    By 2 years, contact the doctor if your child:

    • cannot speak at least 15 words
    • does not use two-word phrases without repetition; can only imitate speech
    • does not use speech to communicate more than immediate needs

    Vision Developmental Delays in Children

    Until 6 months, a newborn's vision is normally blurry. Then it improves as the child begins to coordinate sight in both eyes. However, sometimes this does not happen or other vision problems show up.

    Possible causes of vision delays. Refractive errors, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness, are common in children. Other eye problems include:

    • amblyopia (lazy eye), poor vision in one eye that may also appear to turn outward
    • infantile cataracts -- a clouding of the eye's lens -- or another inherited problem (these problems are rare)
    • retinopathy of prematurity, an eye disease that sometimes affects premature infants
    • strabismus -- also called cross eyes -- eyes that turn in, out, up, or down

    Types of treatment for vision delays. Early treatment can help correct many vision problems. Depending on the eye problem your child has, he or she may need:

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