Is Your Child a Late Talker ?


Is your toddler not talking or not as much as friend’s children?

Maybe family members or even the pediatrician has said, “Let’s wait-and see” or “Your sister didn’t talk until she was three and she was fine”. But your gut instinct may be telling you to investigate. Answer the following questions about your child then review the speech and language checklist for approximate ages and milestones:

  • Does she/he seem to understand what you are saying to him/her?
  • Does your toddler seem to play well independently and with others?
  • Does your toddler play with toys appropriately such as stack blocks, hug a stuffed animal, or throw a ball?
  • Does your toddler respond when you say “No!”, especially if may get hurt?
  • Does your toddler attempt to imitate sounds, like “uh-oh”, “beep-beep” and “moo”?

You child may be a late talker if he/she is not meeting the following speech and language milestones:

  • By 12 months toddlers will imitate the names of familiar objects and environmental sounds. 
  • Around 12 months toddlers begin to use first words. Common first words may include dada, mama, ball, baby, banana, hi, bye, no, dog, woof-woof.
  • By 18 months old toddlers use at least 15 words, including nouns (“mama”, “cookie”), verbs (“go”, “eat”), prepositions (“up”, “out”), adjectives (“yucky”, “wet”) and social greetings (“hi, bye”). 
  • By 18 months toddlers can produce the sounds /m, p, b, t, d, h/ and the short and long vowel sounds. 
  • By 18 months they can imitate and spontaneously produce consonant-vowel combinations, like “dada”, “buh-bye”, “uh-oh” and “up”. 
  • By 24 months old toddlers use at least 100 words and combine two words together (“Dada go”, “eat cookie”). These word combinations do not include memorized chunks, like “thank you”, “all done” or “bye-bye” but are unique combinations related to the present.

Did you answer yes to all of the questions above? Is your toddler meeting all of the milestones? If your child has not yet reached the above milestones he or she may benefit from early intervention. Contact your local speech language pathologist for a screening or initial speech and language evaluation.