Here are 7 quick questions parents of children 24-36 months old should answer to make sure they are developing normal speech and language skills:
- Does your child understand differences in meaning of words (e.g., in/out, go/stop, big/little, up/down, etc.)? 2-year olds should begin to grasp these basic concepts.
- Does your child follow two requests (e.g., “Get the book and put it on the table.”)? Children usually follow 1-step directions or questions by 24 months of age.
- Does your child have a word for most everything? Expect a language explosion by 30 months of age.
- Does your child use 2-3 words to talk about and ask for things? Listen for simple 2-word combinations by 27 months of age.
- Is your child understood by familiar listeners, such as friends and family, most of the time? In general, a child of this age is intelligible to familiar listeners, such as family and friends.
- Does your child ask for or direct attention to objects by naming them? The language explosion should be evident, as babbling, pointing or gesturing are generally mastered by 12 months of age.
- Does your child participate in back and forth conversational turn taking? This is a skill that is usually seen at 30 months of age.
If your child has any of these symptoms, or if you have seen any regression in your child’s speech, language or social skills, consider talking to a licensed speech pathologist to make sure the toddler is not at risk for serious language or articulations issues. ALL of these symptoms can be improved with intervention, and the earlier the better.