Parents wait for the exciting day that their child says their very first words. But what does it mean if your child has not spoken any words yet? You would no doubt become worried if your child has not started speaking yet. However, every child is different, and they develop at different speeds. There are certain verbal development milestones that pediatricians look for according to age, but it is not a cause for panic if your child does not meet the milestone exactly. Here are a few signs to look out for if you suspect your child may have a communication delay.
Speech Development Stages
The general development stages for language and speech are the same for all children. However, the ages at which these stages develop can vary significantly. It is important to have regular checkups with your pediatrician to track your child’s developmental milestones. The stages are as follows:
0-11 Months: Your child should be babbling, cooing, and putting sounds together
12-15 Months: At this age, they should be making a wide range of sounds and imitating actual words and sounds. They should also understand simple directions.
18-24 Months: By this stage, most children should be able to say between 20-50 words and combine words to make simple phrases.
Recognizing the Signs of a Communication Delay
As stated, every child develops differently, and milestones are not an exact guideline. However, certain patterns can indicate your child may have a communication delay. Some indicators by age include:
0-11 Months: If your child is not vocalizing at all or responding to sounds, that could indicate an issue.
12-15 Months: At this age, if your child is only making a few sounds and not waving or gesturing it could be a problem. You should also notice if your child has not said their first word by this age.
18-24 Months: Pointing and grunting instead of communicating with words and not using two-word combinations or using them infrequently could be signs of a communication delay
2 Years and Older: By this age, if your child says less than 50 words or it is difficult to understand them when they speak, you should consider getting them evaluated.
Every child is different, so what works for one child may not work for another. However, communication milestones are a good way to gauge your child’s language development. It is always recommended that you consult your pediatrician for guidance if you suspect your child has a communication delay.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.