While I was waiting in the ‘green room’ to be interviewed on Radio 4’s Today programme about my role as Communication Champion, I was lucky enough to meet regular contributor Rabbi Lionel Blue. He told me this wonderful story about why some children might be late talkers:

An Austrian couple have a son. After the birth, medical tests reveal that the child is normal. There is nothing to worry about. As the child grows older, he learns to do everything except talk. For some reason he never speaks. The concerned parents take him to the doctor, who reassures them that as the child is perfectly developed in all other areas, there is nothing to worry about and that he is sure the speech faculty will eventually blossom. Years pass. The child is five, and is still not speaking. The child’s mother is especially distressed by this, but attempts to conceal her sadness. One day she makes soup for lunch. As the family sit at the dinner table, the child suddenly declares, ‘Mother. This soup is a little tepid.’ The parents are astonished. ‘All these years,’ the mother exclaims, ‘we assumed you could not speak. And yet all along it appears you could. Why? Why did you never say anything before?’ ‘Because, mother,’ answers the child, ‘up until now, everything has been correct.’