Speaking Of Speech – Speech Therapy for Toddlers
As parents, we watch our children grow and develop with amazement and pride. Their first smile, first bite of real food, first steps, and first words. But what if those first words don’t come? Or what if your child isn’t talking as much as you think he/she should?
What is considered typical speech development and normal social development in children?
Child and baby development chart for language:
At 12 months, does your child:
- Follow simple one-step directions?
- Consistently use three to five words?
- Use gestures to communicate (waves hi/bye, shakes head for no)?
- Get your attention using sounds, gestures and pointing while looking at your eyes?
- Bring you toys to show you?
- Combine lots of sounds together as though talking (badah mada adeh)?
At 18 months, does your child:
- Use at least 10 words?
- Respond to routine questions such as “where is the dog”?
- Follow simple one-step instructions such as, “give me the ball”?
At 2 years of age, does your child:
- Use at least 50 words? Combine words in two-word phrases?
- Point to the correct picture when asked?
- Follow two-step instructions such as, “go upstairs and bring me your doll”?
At 3 years of age, does your child:
- Use at least 500 words? Combine words into three-word phrases?
- Understand concepts such as big/little, in/on/under?
- Ask why questions?
- Are people outside of the family able to understand your child?
Speech Therapy for Kids. What does it look like?
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, consider getting assessment by a Speech Therapist. To make a speech therapy appointment for your toddler, simply pick up the phone and call your local Government funded Preschool Program and at least get on the waiting list. In the meantime, if you have extended health benefits or can afford private therapy, consider getting an assessment done by a private Speech Therapist. You can typically get an appointment within a week or two. The assessment won’t hurt your child and better yet, he/she will likely have a lot of fun. The assessment consists of english learning games, the therapist asking you about your child’s first few years of life, playing with your child and “testing” your child by having him/her point to various pictures/items, label various items and follow simple directions. The therapist will answer any questions you have during this initial meeting and give you suggestions on how to help facilitate speech and language development.
Speech therapy for kids is so important as early intervention has the greatest success. So, if you are even questioning your toddler’s speech and language development, pick up the phone and set an appointment date. You can always change your mind if your child makes huge improvements in the coming weeks!
Want some speech therapy game ideas?
Outdoor play to stimulate speech development?
Erin is a Registered Speech Therapist and Clinical Director of Speech Kids Canada, an In-Home Speech therapy company.