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Why Your Late-Talking Child Might Actually be A 
Spirit Kid
Written by Marci Melzer Nov. 23, 2017
Do you have a late-talking child? They are probably a Spirit Kid.

Spirit Kid is a term I have come up with to describe children between the ages of 2-6 years old, who enjoy interaction but have limited to non-functional verbal expression.
Why do I call these late-talkers Spirit Kids? I have met hundreds of late-talkers over my 30-year career as a Speech-Language Pathologist, and have come to understand that they possess unique characteristics that actually impede their development of using words.

Here are 3 characteristics of Spirit Kids:

1. Spirit Kids have intense emotional and telepathic connection with their parents. While all children are born with this (it actually starts while they are in utero), Moms (and Dads too) communicate telepathically a lot with their babies for the first 2 years. It’s what experts call “parent instinct” and it is basically how you know what your baby wants/needs when they are unable to use words to tell you. In my experience, parents feel a very strong mental connection to their late-talking Spirit Kids, and this connection is often more intense than with their other children, who are using words to communicate.

2. Spirit Kids are super smart. Most late-talkers are excellent problem-solvers and brilliant at avoiding things they don’t want to do (like using words). They also are especially creative and like to do things their way and on their terms. This combination of skills reflects their strong mental capacity. Unfortunately, it also reflects some pretty confusing, and sometimes unsafe behaviors, as late-talkers can go to extraordinary lengths to creatively avoid using words.

3. Spirit Kids prefer to use telepathy and behavior over words. Late talkers’ mental abilities and deep connection with parents are strengths and ones that make them comfortable. Understanding a child’s natural preference for ease and comfort, I believe that talking might actually be a behavior that feels unnatural and causes anxiety for Spirit Kids, especially when it is demanded.
Here are 3 ways parents actually feed into their Spirit Kid’s avoidance of using words, without knowing they are doing it.
Here are three characteristics of the parents of Spirit Kids

1. Those parents who are quiet, introverted, analytical-thinkers, and/or spiritual themselves, often have late-talking children. These parents are naturally comfortable in the “mental space” themselves. They subconsciously start to help their children develop their mind almost immediately after birth.

2. Spirit Kid parents often try to read their late-talker’s mind. Every Spirit Kid parent I have met, reports that they somehow just “know” what their child wanted. However, after 2 years old, they are actually now relying more on guessing, based on the behaviors they see. This is because the child’s ideas are increasingly complex and without some words to clarify the behavior, the parents miss the message. This is usually when frustration is experienced, by both the child and the parent.

3. No parent wants their child to be frustrated, so they compensate by trying harder to take on the responsibility for message conveyance onto themselves. Perhaps they list everything in the fridge for snack ideas or even encourage the child to help themselves. Their communication exchanges become all about trying to figure out the message and ultimately alleviate frustration.

Marci Melzer M.Ed.-SLP
Intuitive Speech-Language Pathologist

Marci is an intuitive speech-language pathologist who has practiced in families' natural environment for 30 years. Now, she has an online coaching program for parents of late-talking children called Waves of Communication. Marci believes that there are many late-talking children who are reluctant to use words because of their amazing intuitive communication skills. Often these children are misdiagnosed with diagnoses that are scary for their parents. Waves of Communication helps parents show their late-talking Spirit Kids how to start using the words they need, to share the important messages they have for the world.
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