As a parent, you often have to walk the line between cautious and paranoid. When your child turns two and is only speaking a handful of words, you might wonder whether he or she is just slow to talk or if your child is experiencing a language delay. A formal diagnosis from a speech pathologist will be required to determine the reason for your child’s reticence, but the following language milestones can be used to measure your child’s progress.
During these early months, your child should exhibit an increasing ability to recognize and emulate speech. This begins with babbling and, by nine months, begins to progress to multi syllabic sounds, such as “dada.” At the one-year mark, babies are more capable of understanding the meanings attached to various words. During this period, watch for signs of disinterest in sounds. If your child doesn’t react to sounds, he or she may have some degree of hearing loss.
At this stage, children should begin to say a couple of words spontaneously and attempt to mirror the speech of those around them. Children also learn to follow simple commands.
Around the two-year mark, children are typically able to create simple sentences by stringing two words together. They are also able to follow more complex directions, which combine two steps. Though there is a lot of variation, two year-olds are able to speak an average of 50 words.
If your child does not seem to meeting one or more of these milestones, a communication evaluation should be conducted by a speech pathologist. In these cases, it is best to have your child screened for a potential language delay, even if it is determined he or she does not have one. Through communication counselling, early intervention kindergarten and preschool programs can effectively narrow the development gap. To find preschool and kindergarten programs near Louisville, we encourage you to contact our staff at (502) 584-3573.