Late Talkers

“If your child is 18 months and not talking speech pathology intervention may be required.  Parents typically say comments like “his father did not talk to he was 3” or “Boys are slower than girls” or “my doctor said not to worry”. Do you “wait and see” or do you see a Speech Pathologist?

From a speech pathology point of view, early intervention is crucial and results in the best outcomes long term. Early intervention involves teaching parents specific strategies that they can use to encourage language development.

Like all development in children, the time in which children start speaking varies significantly. Despite these different rates of development, there are a few indicators that your child is a “late talker”.

If your child is turning 1 they should start to be using a number of words, such as mummy, dog, car, and daddy. If your child is 1 ½ they should have at least 50 single words.

If your child is turning 2 they should be putting two words together to form little phrases (mummy drink, bye dad, big car) and also have a vocabulary of around 200-300 words.

If your child is 3 they should be formulating little sentences and be having conversations on a regular basis. At 3 years of age, children have around 1000 words.

Late talkers understand instructions well and play appropriately on their own and with other children.

Learning two languages

There are many myths about learning two languages. The research shows that children can learn two or more languages without any confusion or language delay.

Children are like sponges and they will become bilingual in the preschool years without effort and without specific teaching.

Bilingualism does NOT lead to language delays or late talking. If your child is learning two languages and is late to talk a speech pathology assessment is recommended.