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, and the earlier the better.