I am worried about my grandson's verbal skills
My grandson is 27 months old and only says a few words. His parents and all four grandparents try to work with him, always naming everything we see,and asking him to use his words. When we push him to say his words, he gets frustrated and cries. However, he understands what is being said very well and follows complex instructions. He can identify all the letters of the alphabet and, often, when being read to, will point out letters or words without being prompted. But, he just won 't speak. He is outgoing. He does get embarrassed easily and is very sensitive. I am wondering if he is self-consciious about speaking and lacks confidence. We have all been encouraging. How can we help him? He was born three weeks early and was in NICU for two weeks. He has been consistently behind in physical large motor skills milestones by about three months, but is very coordinated and ahead in fine motor skills. Could his speech be associated with these delays?
I was reading through all the questions today and realized that you have a GREAT question! I'm glad that the grandparents are taking such an active role in this child's speech and language development. It is a GREAT sign that your grandson can understand language, point to pictures, letters (wow), and follow complex directions. Being premature most likely does have a big influence and should be consider. I don't think that confidence has anything to do with it. Young children WANT to communicate. It is the path of least resistance and allows them to get wants/needs met. I highly suggest taking the pressure off!!! This can be overwhelming and counterproductive especially if the child is sensitive.
Please read this page for more info on how to model language without pressure:
Also, I am updating our Toddler Talk eBook as well which may be a great fit for you. Don't buy it yet because I am adding 40 pages of games and more background info!
Hope that helps,