A sweet moment captured on video between Jessa Duggar Seewald and her son has raised concerns about the toddler’s speech and language development.
Duggar Seewald, of Duggar family fame and mother of 21-month-old Spurgeon “Quincy” and 6-month-old Henry, recently posted an adorable Instagram video of her older son playing around in her parked car. The boy has a blast with the air-conditioner and radio buttons, and he laughs and dances with delight when a gospel song plays. “Workin’ on some basic drivers ed: AC controls, hazards, eco mode and radio,” the 24-year-old captioned the video.
However, fans began theorizing that Spurgeon had a speech delay, because in the footage, he communicates by laughing and making noises rather than talking.
“He’s cute, how old is he? And does he talk or say words?” wrote one person. One commenter accused Seewald of deleting comments on her son’s speech, but according to CafeMom, another person wrote, “Isn’t he 2? He acts like my ten month old did when he was, well … 10 months old.”
Some people shared their own childhood experiences with speech therapy: “The oldest child usually takes a bit longer to talk. I was the oldest. I didn’t start talking till about 2 1/2 almost 3. I was a good student and ended up being that person that doesn’t stop talking. … Don’t worry. He’ll speak when he is ready.”
And many defended the mom: “To place unrealistic expectations on a 2 year old is really silly. He’s a 2 year old. He’s going to be fine.”
According to Diane Paul, director of clinical issues in speech-language pathology at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Maryland, it’s impossible to diagnose any child based off a short video clip. “Speech and language are complex processes involving comprehension, expression, and cognition and require extensive evaluations in multiple settings,” Paul tells Yahoo Beauty. “As a professional of 44 years, I myself could not make a diagnosis from this video.”
There are lots of reasons a child wouldn’t speak at any given time — maybe he is focused or otherwise occupied, speaks more often around specific people, or is simply shy. “All I see here,” says Paul,” is an attentive, active, focused child.”
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