Look Who's Not Talking

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When you hear your child's daycare classmates or friends speaking up more often than she does, then you may wonder why she's not a Chatty Cathy. There are myriad explanations for speech delays. Here's what you need to know. By age 2, experts say children should say at least 50 words, but about 10 percent of toddlers are considered "late talkers." Many catch up on their own, and the reasons for the delay could include premature birth, twins - who have an "unspoken" language that may make language unnecessary, or sex. Boys tend to focus on and master one task at a time, while girls may try a few at once. Boys and preemies usually catch up to their peers. Toddlers who have "helpful" older siblings may be reticent to speak because they don't feel the need to communicate. A child who is a late talker may still communicate with body language, pointing or gesturing. But there are a few warning signs that something else may be going on.