I realize that this is not my child, and that I probably shouldn't be worrying about this, but I am.
My nephew (actually DHs cousin, but more like a nephew to us) is 3 years and 2 months old. He is mostly nonverbal. He babbles in baby talk. He says a few words. He doesn't follow most simple commands (not sure if it is unwillingness, but it doesn't seem like he understands). His pedi referred him to a speech language pathologist. My MIL has said that he's seen them twice. According to her and to my nephew's mother, the speech language pathologist says that he's not talking because he is "spoiled". By "spoiled", they mean that he is spoken to in 100% baby talk (when not being yelled at) by his grandparents, who watch him 5 days a week for 12 hours a day. This is in Spanish. His parents speak to him in both English and Spanish. It doesn't seem to me that he is picking up either one. Even if he is being spoken to in babytalk, I'd think that even a spoiled neurotypical child (as they insist he is) would be able to pick up language and imitate it. He doesn't. He sits in front of the TV all day, and watches PBS kids, which I'd think would teach him something. I'd think he'd imitate a song, sayings, something. Nothing :(
Months and months ago I was thinking he was somewhere on the autism spectrum, because he toe-walked and was really horrible socially. He has stopped toe-walking, and has stopped the other quirky things, so I don't think that's the cause.
If he were just nonverbal and peachy keen with it, I don't think I'd be sticking my nose so far in this. However he has a communication barrier, and his needs often go unmet because he can't speak in words. It is heartbreaking.
They've checked his hearing and his hearing is perfect they say. If this was your best friend's child, what would you do? What would you say to your friend if they insisted that he's just spoiled? His mother has joked at the fact that my 22 month old is now talking more than her son is (and she just started talking this past month...)! Are there any studies I can show her as far as bilingual families and late speech emergence goes? Anything like that? Anyone have any info on speech disorders that I could pass along?
My husband says that our nephew's mom figures that school will "fix" her son.
So... anyone? Throw your info at me.