A late talker is a child who is between 1 1/2 years of age and 2 1/2 years of age that has good receptive language skills (what the child can understand) but has a limited number of words in his or her vocabulary. Children who are late talkers have difficulty with their expressive language only. Approximately 13% of two year olds are late talkers.
Some red flags for late talkers are:
- Your child was quiet as an infant (did not babble much)
- History of recurrent ear infections
- A limited number of consonant sounds
- Does not imitate your sounds or words
- Has mostly nouns in his or her vocabulary
- Has a difficult time playing with others
- Family history of communication difficulties
By 1 1/2 years of age a child should have about 20 words in their vocabulary, by 2 years they should have about 100 words and be able to put two words together to make a phrase.
Instead of taking the “wait and see” approach, contact a speech-language pathologist about your child’s speech and language development if you have concerns. Remember, parents are the experts on their children.