Just to air a contrary opinion!
Thanks for starting this thread. This topic has been on my mind for our boys. . .
The twins are now 19 months old. I know they are slower to speak than was our oldest, but she's pretty bright (Yes, even considering that all parents think their first is "gifted"!
) I don't really remember a lot about siblings #2 and #3 and their speech development.
Here's a measure of what our 19 month old twins do:
- Jabber prolifically throughout the day. Much of this is burbly and highly expressive with intonation and facial expressions.
- Yell with excitement when spotting food they want. (eg. I'm cutting fruit and they are happily eating pineapple, but then see GRAPES!)
- Sternly and deeply command "DON!" (long "O") and point with finger when trying to tell someone else "Don't". Usually this is when a toy is in jeopardy. Sometimes they say it to the dog.
- Say "Ma-ma" although this is not consistent and is sometimes strung into multiple syllables as in "Ma-ma-ma" but is always directed toward me.
- Say "no". This one's pretty clear, resolute, frequently-used.
- Wave bye-bye, clap hands to show their pleasure (without prompting).
- We have noticed a couple of other words starting. . . "milk". . . the name of our oldest daughter. . . can't remember right now - at least one or two more.
I am not disagreeing
with the notion that early intervention can make speech delays more easily-remedied.But I do think we should all examine early intervention carefully and not simply take the stance of "Well, it certainly won't hurt anything!"
As a parallel, look at how many birth interventions are considered by the medical community to be beneficial or at least "no harm done" yet are highly objectionable to many attempting to live a more natural lifestyle (wherever you consider yourself in that spectrum of "natural living").
There are risks to everything. And in a more general nature, to get one thing, you are always giving up something else. For example, early intervention to treat speech delays in children who may well be "normal" will certainly cause the parents and teachers of those children to reflect on that in future years and may
taint how they are treated in other regards.