I’m not just refer­ring to cheap child­care. Even child­care that is expen­sive and pur­ports to offer ‘spe­cial’ meth­ods can still be mediocre. 

Parental care can be mediocre even when the par­ent is oth­er­wise well qual­i­fied in their pro­fes­sion­al field like ele­men­tary school teach­ers, or when the par­ent titles them­selves an ‘at home moth­er’ or an ‘at home father’.

I have con­clud­ed that it is the com­bi­na­tion of mod­ern (prob­a­bly the US) inter­pre­ta­tion of such ‘spe­cial’ meth­ods of teach­ing and help­ing chil­dren devel­op or just plain ‘child mind­ing’ (even by par­ents) that could be caus­ing devel­op­men­tal delays.

Some par­ents may just scan the lit­er­a­ture on cer­tain child devel­op­ment or teach­ing meth­ods, espe­cial­ly the one that rec­om­mends that the par­ent or teacher just sits and ‘observes’ the child, and fig­ure that it doesn’t require any­thing of them.

The chil­dren of such par­ents will, for exam­ple: sit by them­selves in the mid­dle of a room at around 6 months of age and do NOTHING – they don’t even respond to an object put with­in their reach, they don’t smile or respond to the adult, they don’t even gur­gle and they have what’s called a ‘flat affec­t’, a blank faced look.

Such chil­dren do become ver­bal (usu­al­ly what I term hyper-ver­bal) yet are quite wood­en in their con­ver­sa­tions. Some become will­ful and do not com­ply with their par­ents’ wish­es – fre­quent­ly lead­ing to dan­ger­ous safe­ty issues.

Most of these chil­dren have so lit­tle real con­ver­sa­tion in their lives that they don’t actu­al­ly com­mu­ni­cate at all.

Giv­en the chance just lis­ten to a child who com­mu­ni­cates well at 22 months, as I did sev­er­al months ago when I first wrote this blog (unfor­tu­nate­ly these are very rare occur­rences in my world!). 

The child was high­ly ver­bal with a large, yet nat­ur­al, vocab­u­lary and plen­ty of pur­pose­ful recep­tive lan­guage. She was doing phe­nom­e­nal­ly well in all regards. She was not (should I say ‘of course’?) of US parent­age she was Eng­lish, prob­a­bly of East Indi­an her­itage like her mother. 

I told her moth­er how impressed I was with her daughter’s ver­bal abil­i­ty and how her child didn’t need to be in a school envi­ron­ment to become socia­ble. She already had per­fect­ly accept­able social skills – far beyond the chil­dren in the facil­i­ty the moth­er was briefly observing.

So tell me why should I see so few chil­dren who are com­mu­ni­cat­ing and receiv­ing lan­guage so well?

I can only think that it is caused by mediocre care, be it at home or in any type of facility.