I had an interesting experience last week. I was picking my kids up from my sister’s house when her in-laws pulled up with their children. When they got out of the car she introduced me as her sister speech therapist. She immediately began telling me how her, two year old, nephew wasn’t using any words yet and wanted me to tell his parents what was “wrong”. Talk about feeling put on the spot! I felt the father glaring at me as if to say, “Don’t you dare tell me there is anything wrong with my son.” So I proceeded cautiously explaining some reasons that have been commonly linked to delayed speech in children. In the end they felt they should call the local early intervention provider in their county for an evaluation. I ran into the mother of the child yesterday and she thanked me for talking to them. She said until they talked to me the father did not believe they needed to pursue help just yet.
This is what I told them:
- By one year a child should be saying their first word.
- By 18 months a child should be saying at least 20 words.
- By two years a child should be saying at least 50 words and should be starting to put two words together.
For a more specific breakdown of these communication milestones read my post entitled “Important Communication Milestones”.
Here is a link to PBSparents.org with some more specifics about what the average child is both understanding and saying during these first months of life.
If your child hasn’t met these milestones there may be something that is inhibiting their development. I’ll address some of those reasons in a future post.