While timelines can be useful for tracking a kid’s language development, it’s more important to focus on whether or not your child can communicate effectively than on the number of words they know or a specific day on the calendar. In this article, find out signs for parents to be able to tell if their toddler’s language development is doing fine, or is being delayed.
Questions to Ask
Think about the following questions if you’re having trouble understanding or talking with your child and you suspect there could be an issue. Contact an early intervention program or your child’s health care physician if you respond “no” to the following questions.
Do They Make an effort to communicate?
Your baby should be attempting to communicate with you verbally by the time they are 12 months old. Grunts and half words (such as ba-ba for the bottle) are included in the count.
Do they show an interest in other people’s opinions and viewpoints?
When individuals arrive or exit a room home, your child should pay attention and respond. As they encounter a familiar face, they might smile; when you leave, they might cry; or try to follow you out of the room. For example, if someone is eating, reading, or playing, your child should be curious about what they are doing.
Do They Frequently Use New Words?
As soon as your child attempts to communicate using words, you should see improvements in their language skills. When kids learn the terms, they should keep them in their vocabulary, and the number of words they use should expand.
Keep an eye out for the lack of new words in your child’s vocabulary that has gone unnoticed for months or years.
Do They Have an Emotional Response to Music?
Music affects most toddlers. Don’t worry if your youngster is humming, clapping, swaying, or otherwise attempting to move their hands in time to music. Ithe f they don’t, the repercussions could be grave.
Do they imitate the sounds they hear?
Your toddler’s speech patterns should mirror what they hear around them, although each person’s voice is distinctive.
If you’re from the South, your long a may be dragged out or have a slight twang, which is also OK. The longer an in their name, or any of their other vowel sounds, should not sound out of place.
Do They Correctly Pronounce Consonants?
It’s a red flag if your child’s vowel sounds sound regular to you, but they have a unique style of saying particular words that don’t seem to change over time. Two examples are leaving off the first or last consonant or constantly making a c sound instead of a t.
What is their name, and how do they respond to it?
Your child should face or look directly at you when you announce their name. Babies can do this as young as six months old. You should be alarmed if it has not occurred by the time your child is one year old.
Is their communication more verbal than gestural?
Your child should not be able to communicate with you just by gestures unless their primary caregiver does so. For those who are employing infant signals, they should be distinct and easy to identify rather than just pointing or waving. By the time your child is 2 years old, they should be using more words than gestures to communicate.
Is There Anyone Else Who Gets You?
Regarding children, there’s a level of intimacy between parents and their children that outsiders lack. It’s fine if you help others translate from time to time. If people are still asking you to interpret for them at the age of three, you should be concerned.
In other words, are they good listeners?
They do everything for their child, unaware that they are doing so because of a possible problem with language development. Allow yourself time to evaluate your child’s ability to comply with simple verbal commands like “Bring me your shoe” or “Hand me your sippy cup.”
Put words together, do they?
Your toddler should be able to put meaningful words together around the age of two.
To express their want to eat, individuals may say “Me hungry” or “Go out,” for example. Talk to your doctor if they aren’t doing this by two and a half; this could be a sign of anything more serious.
Are They Capable of Learning from Others?
The longer an in their name, or any of their other vowel sounds, should not sound out of place. Cat meowing, dog barking, a parent saying “uh oh,” waving “bye-bye,” and clapping when you clap are all common early imitations.
What About Ear Infections?
If your child has a history of recurring ear infections, or if those infections were misdiagnosed, it’s possible that they developed hearing problems in the past or that they do so even now. When discussing your child’s treatment with a health care practitioner or anybody else dealing with them, keep in mind an ear injury (to one or both ears).
Additionally, there are a number of variables to consider.
Some delays in language development may be due to other factors. These questions may help soothe your concerns. However, if you have concerns about your child’s health, you should talk to your child’s pediatrician or your state’s early intervention program.
How Many Older Siblings Do They Have?
Even when an older sibling speaks for the younger, it can give the impression that there is a lag in communication. However, this can also hide an actual delay. Check in regularly to see if your child can communicate on their own.
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