WHY HASN’T MY 20-MONTH-OLD CHILD BEEN ABLE TO SPEAK?
When your child’s language skills appear to be lagging behind other toddlers, it can be challenging to know what to make of it. Your 20-month-old child may have a hearing difficulty or some other developmental delay if they cannot say more than a few words at this age.
These holdups may be only a blip on the radar. Without any other indications of developmental delay, your child may just be on their timetable even if they do not speak much. One in every five children develops their language skills and vocabulary later than their peers.
The typical progression of language acquisition
It is common for a child’s communication capacity to significantly improve between the ages of one and two years. A toddler’s vocabulary can grow to more than 100 words during this time period, and they progress from using simple phrases like “mama,” “dada,” and “good-bye” to making simple two-word sentences and asking for more juice.
Around the age of 20 months, your baby will:
- Pose simple questions such as, “Where’s the cat?” instead of saying “Goodbye”?
- Comply with straightforward instructions.
- List a few everyday items.
- When asked, point to a few sections of the body.
- Simply put, “more cookie” combines two words, as is “mother book.”
- Every week, learn a new word or two to expand your vocabulary.
- Words should begin with a variety of consonant sounds.
Reasons for Concern
Likely, your youngster is just taking their time when it comes to speaking. However, this could be a contributing factor if they aren’t close to achieving these goals.
Delays in the development of speech or language
Children with older siblings and those whose parents use attachment parenting may be more reluctant to talk till they’re older. It’s not uncommon for an older sibling to speak for a smaller sibling. Parents who recognize their children’s indications are often able to address their children’s needs before they can express themselves verbally.
It’s not necessarily a terrible thing in any scenario, however. These children are still communicating and learning, and as they become older, you’d be hard-pressed to tell.
Impairment of Hearing
It’s not always easy to tell if your child’s hearing is where it should be at this age on your own. Delay in speech is the most common sign that parents haven’t noticed their child’s hearing problem.
If you’re concerned, especially if your child has had recurring ear infections or has a family history of hearing loss, it’s a good idea to have a child’s hearing test.
Oral Health Concerns
A problem with the lips or tongue could be to blame if your child cannot form words, even though they can hear them. It is possible to have a tongue tie (a small frenulum, the fold beneath the tongue) or a cleft palate (the roof of the mouth).
People with oral-motor issues have trouble making speech sounds because the parts of the brain responsible for speech coordination aren’t working correctly.
Feeding difficulties are common in children with oral-motor issues. Pediatricians often consult speech-language pathologists if suspected oral-motor problems or other oral impairments.
The Best Ways to Help Children Learn to Speak
If your child’s expressive language is the only problem you notice, there are things you can do now and in the future to assist their speech development.
Keeping a discussion going with your youngster throughout the day is recommended by experts. When talking to your child, use a range of words to describe what you’re doing and reply to the sounds your youngster makes.
A few other ideas to enhance your toddler’s speech development include:
- Associating animal noises with their respective names
- playing pat-a-cake and peek-a-boo with the kids
- Every day, read a book to your youngster.
- Singing harmonies with each other.
Open-ended inquiries are a great way to get your toddler talking. “Would you prefer a glass of milk or a glass of water?” rather than “Do you want a glass of milk or a glass of water?” Don’t forget to wait for a response and emphasize good communication “A big thank you for clarifying your needs. A cup of milk will be waiting for you.”
You may witness more than linguistic growth once you start giving your students options. With this strategy, parents generally witness a decrease in behaviors, including as saying “no” and throwing temper tantrums.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association gives excellent references on what your kid should be able to achieve at 1 to 2 years old and 2 to 3 years old, which can be useful in measuring your child’s growth. To be able to communicate.
Consider consulting your child’s pediatrician or a speech-language pathologist (if you haven’t already) before their third birthday if they haven’t begun putting together new words despite your best efforts.