Are you concerned about your toddler's speech development?
Updated: Nov 18, 2019
One minute they are our tiny babies, and cooing and gooing are the sweetest sounds to our ears (and if you don't hear that, it may be a warning sign of future developmental or communication difficulties). Suddenly, they are crawling, walking, running, but wait... they're not really talking. That cooing and gooing has been replaced with grunts, screams, and tantrums. Your two year old should be a pretty darn good communicator. Look for these signs that there might be some bumps in the road:
- Your child is not using at least one new word a week
- Your child cannot follow simple, one-step directions
- Your child does not pretend play
- Your child does not imitate simple words or actions
- Your child does not speak 40 - 50 words
- Your child is not combining 2 words
- Your child is not pointing to pictures when you read him books
- Your child is not naming 3 simple body parts
- Your child is not asking short questions
- Your child does not interact with other children/adults
If any of these describe your child, please do not wait for intervention... even if your pediatrician tells you to. Birth to age 5 is the "critical period" (Google it!) for speech and language development. There are so many crazy tons of research out there that show how delays in speech and language impact so many other things besides "talking". Educational, emotional, and social growth to name a few. And just think how folks around you might judge you if you couldn't speak or use language at their level. What would that do to your self-esteem? I truly feel that strong communication abilities are key to quality of life no matter what the age. Can you think of an example where that might not be true? When our tiny guys are facing that challenge, it is our duty to help! EARLY INTERVENTION IS KEY!!!!