speech-language pathologist

When a Child Doesn’t Respond to Their Name: Speech-Language Pathologist Insights

Most any Fort Myers speech-language pathologist will tell you one of the first questions families of young children ask when inquiring whether certain missed milestones are cause for concern: “What if my child doesn’t respond to his name?”

It’s impossible to give a blanket answer because every child develops at a uniquely individual pace. (It’s also physicians – usually specialists – responsible for the actual diagnosis.) That said, a long-time speech-language pathologist will likely agree: If your child doesn’t respond to his name by the time they turn 1-year-old, it could indicate a developmental delay that requires action. You’ll want to alert your child’s primary care physician and discuss whether the concern warrants referrals for closer evaluation by specialists.

Responding to one’s name is a critical building block of functional communication. This wouldn’t be just a single instance when he couldn’t tear his attention from a riveting show or “selective hearing” in a moment of intense fun. This would be an issue that is consistent and noticeable (at least by you).

What Child’s Failure to Respond to Name Could Mean