If you have noticed your child is not speaking as scheduled, there is no need to be alarmed. Speech and language development in children is progressive but the schedule of development is not strict. One child may speak slightly earlier and be more developed than another but it could just mean they are developing at a different pace and is to be expected.
While speech and language development may follow a progression, you should pay attention for a combination of these signs:
By 12-17 months:
- The child is not able to follow simple directions
- The child does not attempts to imitate full words
By 18-23 months:
- The child has a limited vocabulary of less than a dozen words.
- The child lacks familiarity with common objects and names.
By 2-3 years:
- The child lacks the ability to form phrases and short sentences.
- The child has not shown an ability or willingness to reply to simple questions.
If your child hasn’t reached their milestones and are displaying these signs, you should have a doctor or professional assess if the child does have speech and language delays. Even if your child does have speech and language delays, proper assessment and treatment are very effective to correcting the delays.
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