Parenting--Toddlers/Infants/Pre-Schoolers/my 15 month old


Hello I have a 15 month old daughter named keyley  and i have issues with her  first off she was born at 34 weeks  she sees a physical therapist and a speech therapist  because she is behind a little in those ares my problems with her is she screams at me. She throws her head back  she even throws her head back on my coffee table  when she is in her high chair and is done eating we try to work with her to sign for all done because she don't talk yet when I try to help her sign she screams at me and grunts and throws her head back and pushes the tray to her high chair she doesn't respond or corroperate to the sign language we are trying to help teach her so I do not know what to think or do anymore I don't know the best way to deal with her. Right now I deal with it by placeing her in her crib or playpen when she acts that way and making her sit there until she stops

Hello Kimberly,

 Your child was only slightly premature, and it is far too early to say that she is delayed in her speech or language development. Many children do not begin speaking until they are 36 months or older.
 Keyley my be prone to having temper tantrums, but this is not unusual starting at about 12 or 15 months. A common way of dealing with them is to ignore them. Turn your back or walk away when the tantrums start (as long as she is safe and can't hurt herself). As soon as the tantrum stops, then interact with her in your usual way.  
It's best not to get too upset or distressed by her tantrums. Most children outgrow them between about three years and five years of age.
However, continue to use sign language with her along with the spoken words, but don't make the instructions into formal teaching sessions as she may resist these. If you can just keep the teaching informal and casual that would be best. Many young children are resistant to being "taught" new things. If you can always make learning fun and a part of play you're always likely to be more successful.
Since there is the possibility of a slight language delay, make sure you talk to a great deal every day and read to her frequently.
If you have other questions, please feel free to get back to me.
James Windell


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James Windell


I can answer questions related to normal child development, disturbed behavior and how to provide appropriate guidance and discipline.


I've been a clinical psychologist in a juvenile court, worked in school settings, been a child psychotherapist in a private psychiatric clinic and consulted with schools, courts, hospitals and daycare centers.

American Psychological Association
Michigan Psychological Association

I have been a columnist with the Oakland Press (Oakland County, MI) for 21 years writing a weekly column called Coping With Kids, which is also published weekly in the Staten Island Advance. I have been a mental health columnist with the Detroit Free Press and a columnist for Working Mother Magazine. In addition, I have published articles in professional journals. I have published 16 books, among them are "8 Weeks to a Well-Behaved Child" (IDG Books), "Discipline: A Sourcebook of 50 Failsafe Techniques for Parents" (IDG Books); "Children Who Say No When You Want Them to Say Yes" (IDG Books), "What You Need to Know About Ritalin" (Bantam Books) "6 Steps to an Emotionally Intelligent Teenagers" (John Wiley & Sons), "The Fatherstyle Advantage" (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) and "Defusing High Conflict Divorce" (Impact Publishers). My latest parenting book (2012) is "The Everything Child Psychology and Development Book." Articles about my work with parents has appeared in the New York Times, the Chicago Sun Times, the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press. My website at includes more information about me, my books and includes many columns I've written.

B.A. in Psychology from Wayne State University
M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Oakland University

Awards and Honors
Best Educational Program by Juvenile and Family Court Judges Association (National award for the development of a parent training program for parents of delinquent teenagers. Beth Clark Service Award from the Michigan Psychological Association.

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