Kindergartner not talking to classmates

Our five-year-old son is in kindergarten. He does very well in school and listens to his teachers, but he doesn't talk or open up much to them. We anticipated that he may have trouble with his speech because he was tongue-tied as a toddler, but now we don't know what to do.

Question:

I can understand your concern, especially since your son apparently experienced some difficulty when he was younger. I recommend that you request an assessment of your child's communication skills. This can probably be done at his school site by a speech and language specialist. At the very least, the specialist may conclude that your son is extremely shy, but at least you will have more solid information about his ability to communicate.

On the other hand, the specialist may find that your child needs some support in the form of speech therapy in order to improve his communication skills. If this is the case, your son can probably receive this therapy at the school site, as prescribed by the therapist.

You can support your son at home, too. When talking to him, ask open-ended questions that require more than a "yes" or "no" answer. At the end of the school day, for example, ask him "What was your favorite activity today?" rather than, "Did you have a good day?"

Engage in imaginary play with your son where you take on roles and act them out. If he has a favorite character or animal, consider getting him a hand puppet of that creature so that he can enjoy imaginary play with it. Activities that encourage oral language development will benefit your son.

The next time your son visits the pediatrician, you may want to mention your concerns to the doctor. While your son may just be extremely shy, it wouldn't hurt to rule out any possible physical sources of this difficulty

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