If you’re a mom, you probably worry from time to time if your child is meeting developmental milestones. It can be tough to tell, especially since every child develops at their own pace. If you’re concerned about your toddler’s speech development, you’re definitely not alone. In this blog post we’ll discuss what toddler speech delay is and provide some guidance on how to recognize the signs, causes, and what to do if you think your child speech delayed.
If your toddler is not making any sounds by 12 months, saying any words by 18 months, not responding to their name, or pointing and gesturing to communicate, this may indicate a toddler speech delay.
There are many different causes of toddler speech delay and some are of no concern, but being aware of the sign and possibilities will help you determine if your toddler os speech delayed and how to best help them. Keep reading to learn more about the common signs, causes and possible interventions for toddler speech delay.
Is My Toddler Speech Delayed
While every child develops at their own pace, there are some general milestones to look for. By 18 months, most toddlers will say at least six words, and on average 10 to 20 words. Between 24 and 30 months, they should be able to say 50 to 100 words, and put together two-word phrases such as “mama milk” or “all done.” And between 36 and 40 months, they should be able to say 500+ words and string at least three words together, such as “I go now.”
If your toddler is not making any sounds by 12 months, saying any words by 18 months, not responding to their name, or pointing and gesturing to communicate, it may be a good idea to explore speech intervention options, speech therapy, or other techniques to help your child progress.
You can also refer to the CDC’s Developmental Milestones for more guidance on developmental milestones to expect from you toddler and at what age.
10 Signs of Toddler Speech Delay
If you’re wondering if your toddler’s speech is delayed, there are some key signs to look out for.
1. Not making any sounds by 12 months: All babies start babbling around 4 to 6 months old. By 12 months, they should be making cooing and gurgling noises as well as some consonant sounds (ba, da, ga, etc.). If your baby is not making any sounds at all by this age, it could be a sign of a speech delay.
2. Not saying any words by 18 months: Most toddlers will have about 10 to 20 words in their vocabulary by 18 months old. If your toddler is only saying a handful of words, this could be an indication that they are behind in their speech development.
3. Not responding to their name: By 12 months old, babies should start to recognize their own name and respond when you call them. If your toddler does not seem to react or respond when you say their name, this could be a sign of a toddler speech delay.
4. Not pointing or gesturing: Babies and toddlers communicate their needs through gestures long before they start using words. If your child is not pointing or gesturing to indicate what they want, this could be a sign of a toddler speech delay.
5. Not imitating sounds: Most babies and toddlers will try to imitate the sounds they hear around them, such as a car or train sound. If your child is not trying to imitate sounds, this could be a sign of a toddler speech delay.
6. Not following simple commands: By 18 months old, toddlers should be able to follow simple commands such as “come here,” “give me the ball,” or “sit down.” If your child is not responding to simple commands, this could be a sign of a toddler speech delay.
7. Not using eye contact: Eye contact is an important part of communication, and babies and toddlers should be making eye contact when they are talking to you. If your child is not looking at you when they are speaking, this could be a sign of a toddler speech delay.
8. Not showing emotion: Emotion is conveyed through facial expressions and body language as well as words. If your child is not showing emotion, this could be a sign of a toddler speech delay.
9. Not playing “pretend” games: By 18 months old, toddlers should be able to engage in simple pretend play, such as pretending to feed a doll or talking on the phone. If your child is not engaging in pretend play, this could be a sign of a toddler speech delay.
10. Not using “I,” “me,” or “you”: By 24 months old, toddlers should start using words like “I,” “me,” and “you” when they are talking. If your child is not using these words, this could be a sign of a toddler speech delay.
If your child is showing any of these signs, it’s important to talk to your pediatrician or a speech therapist to explore intervention options. Early intervention is key when it comes to speech delays, and catching the problem early can make a big difference in your child’s development.
What is Toddler Speech Delay?
Toddler speech delay is a common problem that many parents face. It can be defined as a delay in a toddler’s development of spoken language skills. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), or simply a late start to talking.
Toddler speech delay can cause concern for parents if it seems to be prolonged or not progressing. While most toddlers will start to talk around 18 months old, some may start earlier and some may start later. If your child is not talking by 2 years old, this could be a sign of a speech delay.
Many toddlers will eventually outgrow their speech delay, but some may require speech therapy to catch up to their peers. If you are concerned that your toddler may be delayed in their speech development, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional. They will be able to assess your child’s development and provide you with guidance on how to best support your toddler’s communication skills.
Different Types of Toddler Speech Delay
There are a variety of different speech delays, each with their own set of symptoms and causes. The most common type of speech delay is called receptive language delay, which means your child can hear and understand words but has trouble responding to them.
Another common type is called expressive language delay, which means your child can say words but has trouble putting them together to form sentences. This type of speech delay is often seen in children with ASD.
Lastly, there is a mixed receptive-expressive language delay, which means your child has difficulty both understanding and using words. This type of speech delay can be caused by a variety of factors, including cognitive impairment.
Common Causes of Toddler Speech Delay
There are several possible causes of toddler speech delay. One common cause is simply that the child is a later talker and will eventually catch up to their peers. This is often seen in children without siblings or younger children to interact with, as well as those from families where no one talks much.
Another common cause is hearing loss. This can be due to a birth defect, such as congenital rubella syndrome, or it can be acquired later in life due to illness or injury. Hearing loss can make it difficult for children to learn spoken language and may require intervention from a speech therapist.
ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and Apraxia are another common cause of toddler speech delay. Children with ASD often have difficulty with social skills and communication, which can lead to a delay in their development of spoken language. Apraxia is a motor speech disorder that makes it difficult for children to produce the correct sounds when they are talking. This can make it hard for others to understand them.
Lastly, speech delay can be caused by other cognitive impairments like intellectual disability or global developmental delay. These conditions can make it difficult for children to learn new skills, including spoken language.
Furthermore, speech delay can also be family related. If no one in the family talks much, the child may not learn language as quickly. Also, if there is a family history of speech or language disorders, the child may be more likely to develop speech delay.
There are many possible causes of speech delays in toddlers, those are just a few. It could be environmental, emotional, or not enough social opportunities. Some children may have a hearing loss, which can make it difficult to develop speech and language skills, while others may have a neurological disorder such as autism, which can also impact speech development. Additionally, speech delays could be due to physical limitations such as a cleft palate or other craniofacial anomaly.
In some cases, the cause of speech delay is unknown or just a toddler taking a little longer which is completely normal. However, if you are concerned about your toddler’s speech development, it is important to talk to your child’s doctor. They will be able to rule out any underlying medical condition and provide guidance on next steps.
8 Common Causes of Toddler Speech Delay
- Hearing loss: If your child cannot hear, they will not be able to speak. This is why it’s important to have your child’s hearing checked regularly, especially if there is a family history of hearing loss.
- ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) or Apraxia: ASD is a neurological disorder that can impact social skills and communication, both spoken and nonverbal. Apraxia is a motor speech disorder that makes it difficult to produce the correct sounds for words, even though the child knows what they want to say.
- Cognitive impairment: Intellectual disability or global developmental delay can make it difficult for children to learn new skills, including spoken language.
- Family history: If no one in the family talks much, the child may not learn language as quickly. Also, if there is a family history of speech or language disorders, the child may be more likely to develop speech delay.
- Environmental factors: Children who do not have many opportunities to hear and speak words may develop speech delay.
- Physical limitations: Cleft palate or other craniofacial anomalies can make it difficult to produce certain sounds, which can lead to speech delay.
- Emotional difficulties: If a child is experiencing anxiety or stress, they may have trouble focusing on learning to speak.
- Unknown underlying cause: In some cases, the cause of speech delay is unknown. This is often due to the fact that toddlers are still learning to talk and some simply take longer than others.
Early Intervention for Toddler Speech Delay
If your toddler is delayed in speech, there are several things you can do to help. First, it is important to provide a communication-rich environment for your child. This means speaking clearly and frequently, reading books together, and singing songs.
Additionally, you can help your child practice their sounds by modeling the correct production of sounds and words. Finally, it is important to seek out professional help if your child is not making progress in their speech development. A speech-language pathologist can provide therapy to help your child improve their speech skills.
Early intervention is key for helping children with speech delay reach their full potential. There are many different types of therapy available, and the best approach will be tailored to your child’s specific needs.
Speech therapy is the most common type of intervention for speech delay. A speech-language pathologist will assess your child’s development and make recommendations for treatment. Speech therapy can be a helpful treatment option for toddlers with delayed speech. Speech therapy can help your child improve their speech skills and learn new communication strategies.
A speech therapist can also help your child learn how to make various sounds and put them together to form words. They can also teach your child how to improve their clarity and volume when speaking. They will work with you and your child to create a custom therapy plan that meets your child’s needs.
Speech therapy at home can be done right in the comfort of your own home. There are many great resources available online, such as speech therapy courses for parents and children, books, pretend play speech toys, flash cards, picture language cards, sign language courses or books, and more. You can also find helpful tips on how to support your child’s speech development in everyday activities.
Occupational therapy can also be helpful for children with speech delay. An occupational therapist can teach your child how to improve their fine motor skills, which can help with tasks such as holding a pencil or painting. They can also work on gross motor skills, such as jumping and running.
In some cases, your child may need to see a developmental pediatrician or a child neurologist. These doctors can provide additional testing and evaluation to rule out any other underlying conditions that may be causing or contributing to the speech delay.
If your toddler is experiencing a speech delay on their language development, it’s important to know that you are not alone. Many parents, including myself have experienced this with their own children. The most important thing you can do is be aware of the signs and get started on early intervention. The earlier a child receives therapy, the better the outcome. There are many different types of therapy available, and the best approach will be tailored to your child’s specific needs.
If you are concerned about your toddler’s speech development, it is important to speak to your child’s doctor. If your child’s doctor is concerned about your toddler’s speech development, they may refer you to a speech-language pathologist for further evaluation.
Thank you for reading! We hope this article was helpful in understanding more about speech delays in toddlers and what you can do to help your child. For more parenting help, information and resources be sure to check out our parenting blog for more!
If you have any questions or would like to share your experience, please leave a comment below!