Here are 9 quick questions parents of 12-24 month old toddlers should answer to make sure children are developing normal speech and language skills:

  1. Does your toddler understand simple directions, especially with vocal or visual cues? This is a skill for ages 12-15 months

  2. Does your toddler use one or more words with meaning (e.g., “mama”, “dada”, “bye-bye”, etc.)? Expect 3-5 words by 15 months of age

  3. Does your toddler say more words each month with a vocabulary of mainly nouns? Expect 5-20 words by 18 months, 25-50 words by 21 months, and 150-300 by 24 months.

  4. Does your toddler point to a few body parts when named? This is a skill for ages 18-21 months, but may give insight into understanding simple questions.

  5. Does your toddler listen to simple stories, songs and rhymes? For ages 18-21 months, this can be a predictor of attention and listening skills.

  6. Does your toddler point to pictures in a book when named? For ages 18-21 months, this can be a predictor of attention and understanding of language.

  7. Does your toddler use many different consonant sounds at beginnings of words?   

  8. Does your toddler put 2 words together (e.g., “no juice”, “more cookie”, “Mommy book”, etc.)?  By this age, the child’s vocabulary should be big enough for word combinations. 

  9. Does your toddler use some 1-2 word questions (e.g., “What’s that?”,  “Daddy?”, “Bye-bye?”, etc.)?  

If your baby 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 baby is not at risk for serious language or articulations issues. ALL of these symptoms can be improved with intervention; the earlier the better.