Many parents are unsure of when and if to be concerned when their toddler is not yet talking. It is important to remember that a speech-language pathologist can provide comprehensive assessments on even these little kids to help parents identify if a concern exists. Here is a list of the major speech and language milestones for young children:

• First words should be acquired by 15 months of age

• Children should begin using 2-word phrases by 24 months of age

• Children should have over 50 words by 24 months of age

Of course this list is not exhaustive, but it does give parents a starting place to check-in and see how their child is doing. If a child is not meeting these milestones, there are some things that can be done at home to promote language development. These tips do not replace the need to see a speech-language pathologist who can conduct a speech therapy assessment.

Language stimulation tips:

• Use simple language (1-2 word phrases)

• Model words and repeat them over and over again during daily routines

• When playing with your child be face-to-face so you can see what s/he is interested in

• Use a slow rate of speech when talking with your child

• Limit the number of questions you ask

• Make interactions motivating


Written by: Carolyn Davidson, Speech-Language Pathologist, The Speech Therapy Centres of Canada Ltd.