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Help! Is This Normal? Red Flags in your child's development

As a speech language pathologist working in pediatrics, I've often heard parents describe their children’s individual behavioral peculiarities. Sometimes, these are nothing more than unique personality quirks. However, sometimes they are RED FLAGS of a possible feeding or communication disorder. I'd like to share some of these comments with you so that if you hear yourself thinking or saying any of the following, you will take your child to a paediatric health professional such as a speech-language pathologist, child psychologist or developmental pediatrician to request a thorough assessment of your child's development.




“I think my baby just doesn't like me. She looks away when I come close.”

“I try talking, and singing to Lisa, but she doesn't really like it.”

“Frank coughs a lot when he eats.”

“Nathan doesn't like people. He prefers looking at objects.”


Between twelve and eighteen months:

“Natalie doesn't respond when I call her name.”

“Gianna's quiet. She doesn't babble like other kids.”


At Eighteen Months:

“Gregory doesn't understand what I say.”

“Tom just cries a lot when he wants something.”

“Helena only has about three words.”

“Nicky spins around a lot/lines up his toys/likes unusual things like fans and dust particles.”

“Craig loves letters and numbers, but doesn't understand what they mean.”


At 24 months:

“Samantha has maybe fifteen words.”

“Travis repeats but doesn't seem to understand what he's repeating.”

“Jeremy sometimes stretches his words, like 'dooooooggie,' or repeats sounds, as in 'f-f-f-food,' or repeats words over and over.”

“Kevin's voice is a little unusual for a kid his age.”


Any age (pre-teen):

“Ryan doesn't seem to really listen.”

“Billy was developing nicely but then he just stopped doing what he used to do.”


Shani Lantos M.A. CCC-SLP, Reg CASLPO is the Clinical Coordinator and a Speech Language Pathologist at Collage Pediatric Therapy Centre in Thornhill. She has worked with infants and children demonstrating feeding and communication disorders for seven years. She can be reached by e-mail: and Tel:(905) 660-9690