Let’s Talk About Super Special Kids & Cake Podcast [Episode 006 / Segment: Super Special Question]
A mother recently asked me the following question: “My son is 18 months old, but when I call my child’s name, he doesn’t respond. Shall I be worried?”
To anybody else having this concern, I would first point out that sometimes this can be difficult to judge, since even typically developing children less than 24 months will not always respond when to their name is called. Toddlers are only able to concentrate on one thing at a time and so if they are deeply focused on playing with a preferred toy and you call them, they may not be able to simultaneously respond to you. This is perfectly normal, and it is referred to as being “single channelled” with their attention. When you want to get a toddler’s attention, I’d suggest that you try coming down to your child’s level; tap them gently on the arm, they will then look up at you and you can then provide them with the verbal instruction.
If this doesn’t seem to be working, and your child doesn’t turn to look at you, it is a good idea to speak to your child’s doctor and consider getting their hearing checked. If you know their hearing to be normal there may be other reasons why your child is not responding and your paediatrician or speech-language therapist would be able to help you better understand why your child is not responding and what can be done to help them. Listening is an important skill that, when developed, positively affects other areas of learning.
For a further discussion related to the above, please head on over to either iTunes or Spotify and have a listen to Episode 6: ‘Food Glorious Food’ the Super Special Question.