Monday, August 17, 2015

Understanding Speech Development in Toddlers

It is challenging for parents to know whether or not their child has a speech disorder that requires treatment, or if the child is going through a phase that he or she may outgrow. For this reason, it is good for parents to know what is normal and what is not normal speech and language development for children.

Before 12 months of age, children use their voice as a way of interacting with their environment. They start to put sounds together and use varying tones of speech. They start to say things like mama and dada.

From 12 to 15 months, the range of speech and sounds that a child makes should grow dramatically. At this stage, a child should be able to understand and respond to simple one-step directions.

From 18 to 24 months, there is a lot of variability in what a child says. Usually, by the time they are 18 months, they have a 20-word vocabulary, which may grow to 50 words by the time they turned two years old.

By 3 years of age, toddlers should have an extensive vocabulary. They should know how to combine multiple words into sentences and should have an increased comprehension that would allow them to follow more complex orders, as well as identify colors and understand descriptive concepts.

If parents feel that their child is lagging behind in any of these areas, it would be a good idea to speak to their pediatrician. If necessary, the pediatrician may recommend that the child receive some form of speech therapy.