Doctor Betti
Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler is a Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Hertzberg developed the toilet training video "Let's Go Potty." She is the co-author of "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Children."

Early Intervention?

Question: My 2 1/2 year old daughter is right on target for motor skills but is a year behind on verbal and comprehension skills. We have her in an early childhood intervention program and her hearing test showed no lost. What would you suggest we check or who to consult next?

Answer: At the age of 2 and one half, the norm of language skills is placing at least 2 words together. At this age, your daughter could (but not necessarily) be having a vocabulary of 50 words or more.

Remember that all children are not at the same speed in both verbal and motor skills. An important thing is not how many words or phrases your child says, but how clear she says them.

Her hearing has tested normal. This is the first step for progressing in normal speech patterns. The first three years are very important in the development of speech. Since your daughter has normal hearing, I suggest you communicate with the instructors at the program. Reinforcing at home with what she is exposed to during the day.

Remember that not everyone will advance in a certain order of learning. Some of us are more advanced in verbal, others in motor.

Family history and genetics is very important as far as developmental tasks are concerned. Did anyone in the family have a similar situation? If you are still concerned about her progress, see if there are other avenues that you can take. Speak to counselors or instructors at your daughter's school. They will help you.

Dr. Betti

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  • Ask Dr. Betti your questions

    This information is not intended to be a substitute for visiting your pediatrician. If you or your child has specific concerns, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.