As parents, we always have questions about our children’s development. What is normal? How can I help my child talk? Here are a few things I think every parent should know about speech and language development in toddlers:
How Your Toddler Learns
Your toddler is learning language all day, every day. Even when you aren’t trying to teach him, he is learning through everyday activities like diaper changes, meals, bath times, etc. These may be routine for you, but for him, every single one is a different experience to learn from! Make the most out of it by singing, rhyming, and just playing! It is the little moments that children learn from the most.
Pointing is so important
Pointing might be your toddler’s number one way to communicate. It is their useful tool that allows them the ability to share what they see in their world with you and allows you to then help them learn more about what they are interested in. Help your child learn more by explaining or adding a bit more information to a subject when they point at it. For instance, if your toddler points at a cow, tell him that cows go “Moooo!”
Vocabulary and Language Development
Toddler years are busy for your little one and are especially busy ones when it comes to their speech and language development. Toddler years start with babbling and speaking in jargon, and by the time that the end of the toddler years arrive, they are speaking in sentences! By the age of two, toddlers should have around 100-200 words in his expressive language (words they can say) and should be starting to put two words together. By the age of three, he should have around 1000 words and be speaking in short sentences!
When speech pathologists talk about speech, we are referring to the actual ability to physically make the individual speech sounds and speech patterns. Though related, speech and language are different. To learn about the difference, read the article on speech and language, here. Speech sounds slowly develop over time, and it can actually take a child until the age of 8 to master all of the consonants in English, although a majority of them master them way before then. At age 2, you should be able to understand 25-50% of their speech and by 3, their speech should be at least 75% intelligible.
Is my child developing normally?
Perhaps the most common question among mothers, how do you know if your child is developing speech and language skills appropriately? If you have questions or concerns about your toddler’s speech and language development, do not hesitate to reach out and ask for help! Countless research studies have been done, and they all show the same thing: early intervention results in the best outcomes. Parents are often the first people to notice that something is “off” with their child’s development, so use that intuition and make an appointment with a speech pathologist for a further look.
Speech Tails not only offers a free speech assessment, but it also offers a report that shows how your child compares to his or her peers. After you receive the report, a speech therapy plan is suggested and you can get started with your online based speech therapy that offers interactive and fun ways for your child to get the extra help that they need!