Does My Child Need Speech Therapy?

At a young age, children are very much like sponges- constantly absorbing new information around them and developing new skills. Their brains are extremely malleable as they learn to function in the world around them. However, with children progressing with language and speech sound development at different rates, the answer to this question can be quite confusing. But don’t fret, we can help you look for any warning signs!

Before we jump into the warning signs, it is imperative that we differentiate between a speech delay versus a language delay so you can better understand the milestone charts below.

  • With a speech delay, your child may attempt to use words and phrases to share their wants and needs however are difficult to understand.
  • An expressive language delay involves a child’s difficulty expressing their wants and needs with words. For example, the child may verbalize one-word responses to you or pull you in the direction towards the toy they desire.
  • A receptive language delay may involve difficulty with comprehension of language in which your child has difficulty following simple directions such as “get the ball”.

It is possible to have both a receptive and expressive language delay, however it is recommended that you receive a comprehensive evaluation by a speech-language pathologist to determine your child’s strengths and weaknesses.


Expressive Language

Receptive Language

1-2 years: Your child is unable to clearly say words involving the sounds of /p/, /b/, /m/, /h/, and /w/.

2-3 years: Your child is unable to clearly say words involving the sounds of /k/, /g/, /f/, /t/, /d/, and /n/.

3 years: You are able to understand less than 75% of your child’s speech.


12 months: Your child does not babble or gesture towards objects desired

15 months: Your child does not communicate with a minimum of 3 words.

18 months: Your child does not verbalize familiar people including “mama” or “dada”

2 years: Your child does not use a minimum of 25 words.

2.5 years: Your child is not using two word combinations to communicate wants and needs.

3 years: Your child does not use a minimum of 200 words, repeats words/phrases in response to questions, and does not request any object verbally

15 months: Your child does not demonstrate joint attention of point to the objects named by familiar partners (e.g. parents).

18 months: Your child does not follow 1-step directions

2 years: Your child does not point to familiar body parts or pictures when verbalized

2.5 years: Your child does not respond or nod to questions

3 years: Your child does not understand prepositions or verbs (e.g. “in”, “out”, “go”)

If your child presents with any of the difficulties listed above, please schedule a free 15-minute consultation to further discuss whether your child could benefit from a speech and language evaluation.

According to research published by American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), early intervention is key to improve outcomes and development. Let us help your child build their confidence and develop the speech and language abilities to communicate with those around them.

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