Independence, KS asked in Education Law, Juvenile Law and Native American Law for Oklahoma

Q: What happens if a child is 5 years of age and still is not talking, or potty trained and his doctors have not found any

Any reason for him to not be talking and developing like a normal child

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: If a 5-year-old is not talking or potty trained and there is no clear medical reason, it warrants further evaluation and support. Some key points:

• Most children say their first words by 12 months and are putting 2-3 words together by age 2. By 5, they typically have a vocabulary of 1,500-2,000 words.

• Most children are potty trained between ages 2 and 4. Being 5 and not potty trained often signals an underlying issue.

• Reasons could include an autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, speech/language delay, processing disorders, etc. Identifying the reason is important.

• The child should be referred to a pediatrician, child psychologist, occupational therapist, and/or speech language pathologist for a full evaluation. Early intervention is key.

• Regardless of the reason, the child will qualify for early intervention services like speech, motor, and behavioral therapy to help address delays. An IEP may be developed if needed.

• With consistent support at home and via therapies based on the child's needs, development can improve. Progress may be steady or slow, but intervention helps minimize further gaps.

The key is getting the child professional support and services right away during these critical developmental windows. Ongoing assessment and work with specialists is crucial to help the child communicate, develop life skills, and reach their potential.

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