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My Toddler is not Talking. Is that Normal?

13 June 2023

Parents always want the best for their children. Because of this, you want to check every aspect of his or her growth. One of the most obvious ways to check a toddler’s development is through their speech. A toddler should begin to talk at a certain age, but different toddlers may vary in their development. 

How can you use talking as a gauge of your toddler’s development? Is it really a good way to judge a child’s development? Read on as we discuss these questions a little further. 

Children develop at different rates

It’s important to remember that toddlers begin to talk during different stages of their development. The quick learners may start to say a few words as early as 9 months, while it may take others 14 months to get started. Whatever the case may be, parents must be mindful that a baby’s talking journey begins the very moment he or she is born. As early as 4 months, your child can already recognize words and even a few phrases. They try to imitate these as well, although they will usually just be single-syllable words. At 6 months, they begin to ramble or make sounds. 

Usual timeframe

The acceptable age for children to start talking would be between 6 to 18 months. Usually, there isn't a huge cause for concern if your child happens to be behind this timeframe. However, if your child is 20 months and still not talking, then that would suggest you seek medical help. 

Speech therapy

Slow development in speech does not always mean that there is a medical problem with your child. Usually, the problem lies with the environment. When children are not exposed to an environment that motivates or pushes them to talk, they won’t see the need to be able to speak. This is where speech therapists come into play. These therapists are equipped with special training to teach your children how to talk in a way that isn't stressful for them. In fact, most of the teaching will be incorporated into playing and various other techniques that will get their brain into action.

What to look out for

Here are some guidelines you should take note of. If you notice any of these within your own baby, you’ll want to consult your doctor as soon as possible to address the situation quickly: 

  1. At the age of 9 months, your baby is not yet babbling sounds, and they have difficulty saying consonant sounds.
  2. At the age of 12 months, your baby wants something but instead of talking or using sounds, he or she resorts to gestures.
  3. At the age of 16 months, your baby has not said his or her first word. 
  4. At the age of 25 months, your child still cannot speak out phrases with two words like ‘more milk’.

Overall, you shouldn't be too worried if your child has difficulty catching up with other children their age when it comes to speaking. Usually, most of these are just because of a lack of exposure or practice. However, you also do not want to delay medical or educational intervention if you see that there is a real need for it. To be safe, we recommend seeing a doctor if you have any concerns. In these situations, it’s best to get a professional opinion.

Photo by Pixabay

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